List of False Teachers

HomeFalse TeachingsList of False Teachers

I’m often asked to assess what others teach. I do not do this lightly, but it is necessary. Before reading this page, or any of the pages about specific people, I recommend that you read What is a False Teacher?, which explains what the Bible says about false teachers, and why I would bother to research who they are and what they say. You may also want to check out a list of Bible Teachers I Can Recommend.

Which people are false teachers?

If Christianity is true – and I’m convinced that it is – then everyone who teaches something different is incorrect. That doesn’t mean that every non-Christian is a false teacher. For the purposes of instruction, false teachers are those who claim to preach the gospel but do not. I can’t judge whether someone is sincerely wrong or whether they’re abusing others in the name of Jesus for personal gain. I will not judge whether someone is, or is not, a Christian. I can only judge what they teach, and whether it contradicts the clear message of the Bible.

Below are three lists of people, groups, and ideas. The first is a list of Word of Faith teachers. The second is a list of some in the New Apostolic Reformation movement. The third is a list of others. The first two lists exist because each group is significant in size and reach. They’re separate lists because, while there’s often a lot of theological overlap between the two, they’re not the same people. These lists are incomplete, and always will be. Not every person on the people list should be considered a false teacher. If they’re on the list, there are either serious questions about something they teach, or they identify themselves as partners with false teachers, or as students of false teachers.

Most of the people on this list are prominent leaders in specific unbiblical movements. Because those movements are full of false teachings, those leaders are necessarily teaching falsely as well. As I have time, I will write individual articles on each, outlining things they have said and written that are unbiblical or problematic. Remember that the goal is not to gossip or slander, but to expose unbiblical ideas by comparing them with biblical ideas.

Finally, there’s a link to a list of Bibles that should not be used.

A Warning

This topic can be difficult for some. Often, emotions win out over facts… but they shouldn’t. All we’re concerned with is the truth: whether what anyone teaches is in line with what the Bible teaches. There’s a reason they’re considered “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” Christians are the sheep, and Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Wolves in sheep’s clothing look an awful lot like sheep in sheep’s clothing, so many are convinced that the wolf they like is really just another sheep, and no danger to the flock.

Almost all of the books in the New Testament contain warnings about false teachers. For that reason alone, all of us should take seriously our responsibility to watch out for them.

Many, if not most, of the prominent false teachers are part of two movements: the Word of Faith movement and the New Apostolic Reformation. Some fall into both categories, based on what they teach.

False Teachers and Concepts in the Word of Faith movement

  • A.A. Allen
  • Andrew Wommack
  • Benny Hinn
  • Bill Winston
  • Brian Houston
  • Casey Treat
  • Charles Capps
  • Chris Oyakhilome
  • Creflo Dollar
  • Dwight Thompson
  • Earl Paulk
  • Earnest Angley
  • Eddie Long
  • EW Kenyon
  • Frederick KC Price
  • Jerry Savelle
  • Jesse Duplantis
  • Joel Osteen
  • John Avanzini
  • John and Lisa Bevere
  • Joseph Prince
  • Joyce Meyer
  • Juanita Bynum
  • Kenneth Copeland
  • Kenneth Hagin
  • Kim Clement
  • Leroy Thompson
  • Marilyn Hickey
  • Mike Murdock
  • Morris Cerrulo
  • Myles Munroe
  • Norvel Hayes
  • Oral Roberts
  • Pat Robertson
  • Paul Yonggi (David) Cho
  • Paul and Jan Crouch
  • Paula White
  • RHEMA Bible Training College
  • Robert Tilton
  • Rod Parsley
  • Rodney Howard-Browne
  • Rory Alec
  • Steven Furtick
  • Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN)
  • T.D. Jakes
  • T.J. McCrossan
  • T.L. Osborn
  • Todd White
  • William Branham
  • … and more. Unfortunately, there are a LOT of people in the Word of Faith movement. Hopefully, you’ll be able to spot them quickly by comparing what they say with what other false teachers have said.

Related people, movements, and theological concepts in the New Apostolic Reformation:

  • Beni Johnson (Bethel Church)
  • Bethel Church (Redding, CA)
  • Bethel Music
  • Bill Johnson (Bethel Church)
  • Bob Jones
  • Brian Simmons
  • Brownsville Revival
  • C. Peter Wagner
  • Cal Pierce
  • Cesar Castellanos
  • Che Ahn
  • Chris Hodges
  • Cindy Jacobs
  • Craig Groeschel
  • Dan Juster
  • Dan McCollam
  • Danny Silk
  • David Van Koevering
  • David Yonggi Cho
  • Dino Rizzo
  • Dominion Theology
  • E.A. Adeboye
  • Elevation Worship
  • Ellyn Davis
  • Five-fold Ministry
  • Franklin Hall
  • G. Marie Carroll
  • George Warnock
  • Greg Surratt
  • Harvest Rock Church (Pasadena, CA)
  • Heidi Baker
  • Hillsong (Australia and worldwide)
  • Hillsong Worship
  • Ian Carroll
  • IHOP (International House of Prayer)
  • IMPACT Network
  • James Goll
  • Jeremiah Johnson
  • Joel’s Army
  • John Eckhardt
  • John Kelly
  • John Wimber
  • Jonathan Welton
  • Judy Franklin
  • Jurgen and Leanne Matthesius
  • Kevin Gerald
  • Kim Clement
  • Kingdom Now
  • Kris Vallotton
  • Lance Wallnau
  • Larry Randolph
  • Latter Rain Movement
  • Lou Engle
  • Manifest Sons of God
  • Mark Chironna
  • Mary Banks
  • Mike Bickel
  • MorningStar Fellowship Church (Charlotte, NC)
  • New Life Church (Colorado Springs, CO)
  • Patricia King
  • Prayerwalking
  • Randy Clark
  • Ray Hughes
  • Rick Bezet
  • Rick Joyner
  • Robert Morris
  • Ron Cantor
  • Seven Mountain Mandate
  • Sid Roth
  • Spiritual Mapping
  • Steve Shultz
  • Steven Furtick
  • Stovall Weems
  • Sunday Adelaja
  • TBN
  • The Elijah List
  • The Passion Bible
  • Theo Wolmarans
  • Todd Bentley
  • Toronto Blessing / Brownsville Revival
  • Warfare Prayer
  • Warfare Worship
  • William Branham

Other False Teachers and Problematic Movements

A lot of false teachers are not part of the Word of Faith movement or the New Apostolic Reformation. They aren’t usually very well-known, but some have created their own cults of Christianity – that is, offshoots of Christian thought that teach contrary to Scripture. As readers ask for information, I add them to the list. If I feel they have a large enough audience, I may write articles about each individual’s specific teachings.

Name, Group, or IdeaFalse Teachings
Arnold Murray (Shepherd’s Chapel)British Israelism, annihilation, pre-existence, modalism, serpent seed, and more
Berniece HicksPart of the Latter Rain movement and Manifest Sons of God. Followed in William Branham’s footsteps. False prophecies, fake healings, plagiarism, and more.
Brandan RobertsonTeaches that Jesus isn’t the only way to salvation, that Hell doesn’t exist, calls himself a ‘Christian agnostic.’
Charles and Myrtle FillmoreUnity School of Christianity
Charles Taze RussellFounder of Jehovah’s Witnesses
The Elijah ListPromotion for the New Apostolic Reformation
Ellen G. WhiteFounder of Seventh-Day Adventists
Five-Fold MinistryModern-day apostles and prophets
Herbert W. ArmstrongFounder of Worldwide Church of God
Jennifer LeclaireFormer Senior Editor of Charisma Magazine, currently Senior Leader of Jennifer LeClaire Ministries and Awakening House of Prayer. Claims that sometimes the flies in her home are demons, sent to spy on her. Also teaches about a ‘merman spirit,’ an ‘octopus spirit,’ and a ‘sneaky squid spirit.’
Jimmy SwaggartSonLife TV. Claimed Heaven is a planet, denies the Trinity, teaches that the Father and Holy Spirit have bodies, etc. Caught with prostitutes, claimed to have repented, then caught again. Disqualified.*
Joseph SmithFounder of Mormonism (Latter-Day Saints)
Kat KerrFalse Prophet, Elijah List
Keith and Leroy SurfaceChristian Perfection: that true Christians will never sin.
L. Ron HubbardFounder of Scientology
Latter Rain MovementBritish Israelism, Manifest Sons of God, theocracy. Some teach universalism, that everyone will be saved and go to Heaven.
Mary Baker EddyFounder of Christian Science
Peter Popoff
Rob BellUniversalism
Robert MorrisFormer pastor at Gateway Church. Admitted to molesting a 12 year-old girl. While these events happened many years ago, Morris hid his sin until recently. Disqualified.*
Shepherd BushiriProsperity Gospel
Sun Myung MoonFounder of Unification Church
Third Wave
Todd CoontzProsperity Gospel
Victor Paul WierwilleThe Way International
William BranhamModalism, serpent seed, Ku Klux Klan, Latter Rain, Manifest Sons of God, and much more. Considered the father of the modern Charismatic movement.
William MillerFounder of Adventism

* Moral failures will, at least for a time, disqualify someone from serving as a pastor or elder (1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:6-9).

Problematic Bibles

I’m regularly asked whether a particular translation of the Bible is trustworthy. Virtually all modern Bibles are. There are a handful to be avoided, however… so I’ve begun a list of Bibles to avoid.

Problematic Bibles

 

See the complete but incomplete False Teachers List

Disclaimer

Don’t bother commenting or emailing me about how I’m just wrong. It’s a waste of your time and mine. If you have something to say, include Scripture. I am far from perfect, and I can be wrong… so I don’t do any of this lightly, and I’m open to correction.

Don’t bother telling me how this person or that person helped you. It’s a waste of your time and mine. Nobody teaches lies and falsehoods all the time. In researching these topics, I’ve heard a LOT that I appreciated, and have been inspired by even those who are otherwise far from the truth. The number of times someone is right is irrelevant to the question of whether they also teach false things. We should appreciate anyone who teaches us the truth, but that doesn’t mean we should uncritically follow them when we see significant problems in their lives, in their ministries, and in their teaching. Neither your opinion nor mine matter here. What matters is what the Bible teaches, and whether those who preach and teach in Jesus’ name are teaching falsely.

If you can provide evidence that one of these people has recanted their false teaching, please let me know. I would love to amend their article to show that they have changed what they teach.

Finally: we who follow Jesus should not consider false teachers our enemies. If they’re not saved, we should pray for their salvation. If they are saved, we should pray that God will lead them to teach only the truth.

See also: a list of Bible Teachers I Can Recommend

Special Rules for Commenting

Pretty much everybody has an opinion. I’m not interested in opinions here. I’m interested in FACTS. You may like a particular teacher, and someone else may dislike them. Neither makes them a good teacher or a bad teacher. It’s what they SAY and DO that matters. So:


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336 responses to “List of False Teachers”

  1. keith says:

    do you believe in the baptism of the holy spirit and do you believe
    that speaking in tongues is also for today. people sometimes say
    that they ceased. i enjoyed your conv. about sabbath regs.

    • Tony says:

      Keith:

      I believe that what the Bible says is true. In Matthew 3:11 we see John the Baptist’s words: I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. There is a baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is a spiritual parallel. The Jews baptized converts, and the early church baptized converts. Water baptism is a ceremony where someone is welcomed into a community of faith. When someone receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they are welcomed into the Body of Christ. They are born again, and the Holy Spirit begins to dwell in them.

      I don’t know what you mean by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but that’s what the Bible teaches about it.

      I believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are still in operation today. I do not believe that everyone who claims to be exercising those gifts is being honest about it. My experiences in Pentecostal churches have shown me that there are plenty of fakers out there. In my opinion, the Charismatic/Pentecostal churches often do a great disservice to the Kingdom of God by first obsessing over the gifts, then teaching poorly about the gifts, and then allowing people to counterfeit the gifts in their assemblies. Christianity – as a religion – is growing quickly in many parts of the world, and that’s encouraging… but much of that growth has come because the prosperity gospel is being preached to poor people. That’s not encouraging at all.

      Thanks for your kind words, Keith. Have a great day!

      • Stuart McGregor says:

        Hi Tony thanks for all the great information and guidance makes you think again! Do you have any leading teachers you recommend both now and in the past. Thoughts on Billy Graham and now his son, and Smith Wigglesworth? Thanks

        • Tony says:

          Stuart:

          Billy Graham’s teachings are fine. In his early years, I’m led to understand that he hardly ever mentioned the resurrection of Jesus… that it was His death alone that Graham focused on. Later, he seemed to expand his teaching to include the resurrection. That’s about it. I’ve never heard anything he said that I found directly contradicted the Bible.

          I haven’t spent a lot of time analyzing Franklin Graham’s theology. I think we can assume that he agrees with this Statement of Faith, as he’s the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. There’s nothing there that I would consider unbiblical.

          As for Smith Wigglesworth, I would avoid him. I don’t know a lot about him, but there are a few things that I find troubling. First, he often taught that illnesses were the result of demonic activity and unbelief. Needless to say – well, I wish it didn’t need to be said, but it too often does – that’s entirely unbiblical. He claimed to have raised the dead, and distributed ‘prayer cloths.’ These sort of things, in my estimation, simply have no place in the life of the Bible-believing Christian. His excesses seem to be the same excesses we see in other Pentecostal offenders, and I would not consider him a reliable teacher.

          • Andrew says:

            Franklin Graham is joining events with Paula White and Joseph Cahn

          • Tony says:

            Andrew:

            Please respond with links. It’s not enough to make a claim without context. If we’re going to complain that someone is off-base, we need to first establish that our observations are accurate. I’m not saying I don’t believe you. I’m saying that we should be diligent in avoiding even the appearance of gossip.

            Besides: Walter Martin went on TBN. I would suggest that most of the people on TBN are false teachers, but that doesn’t mean Martin was a false teacher. He spent his career pointing out false teachers. If Graham goes to events with false teachers, that doesn’t indicate that he is one.

            Thanks!

          • Jan Winnard says:

            RE: Franklin Graham, I have for many years facilitated Collection of Shoeboxes in connection with his Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child, and had no concerns about Franklin’s faith until after I recently learned how he had joined hands with NAR proponents, and false teacher Paula White, (Trump’s “spiritual adviser”) in the very active promotion of Donald Trump for President. I had wondered, after the shameful violence perpetrated by Trump at the Capitol on January 6th, how in the world the words “evangelical Christianity” could have become so closely associated with Mr. Trump, and it was only then I discovered that many well known Christian leaders in America, Franklin included, had, in effect, failed to discern the spirit that was moving in, around, and through Mr. Trump. Many NAR proponents and WOF teachers (including Rodney Howard-Browne) recognized in Trump “a kindred spirit” and “laid hands on him” effectively anointing him as their “leader” shortly after his election in 2017.
            https://www.kansascity.com/news/nation-world/article160904779.html
            https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2019/11/26/commentary-how-many/

            I had no idea this had taken place, either. I am evangelical, and a Christian, but I never discerned in Mr. Trump anything even remotely resembling the Holy Spirit, and never voted for him. Truth be told, past two elections I’ve simply written in a vote for “Jesus.”

            I just sent Franklin Graham a loving, respectful letter, asking him to please do some research on the NAR and WOF movements, and consider the possibility that what he chose to join hands with in the promotion of this man in the name of “evangelical Christianity” was far from holy or God ordained. How I pray that word gets out among our Bible believing churches, and Bible-preaching pastors in America that the spirit that was behind the Trump phenomenon was not the Holy Spirit at all, and had Trump been re-elected, this nation would have found itself subject to the whims of a man motivated by the same spirit that is working in the NAR and the WOF movements to create a “Theocracy” in America, with false prophets and false teachers in positions of pulling no few number of strings behind the scenes.

          • Tony says:

            Jan:

            Thanks for your comment. I too have been involved with Samaritan’s Purse. It’s a good thing to do.

            The fact that Franklin Graham agreed with false teachers about their political candidate of choice doesn’t indicate that he agrees with them about everything. Bible-believing protestant Christians can work together with Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholics and atheists to prevent abortion… but that doesn’t mean they agree on anything beyond the sanctity of life. I’m happy to hear that you’ve written a letter. It’s possible that Franklin has no idea what they believe. I assume he’s pretty busy and spends little or no time looking into false teachers like Paula White and Rodney Howard-Browne. Most people have never heard of the NAR or WoF. We would have good reasons to be concerned if he agrees with them on theological matters. Unless we find that to be the case, I wouldn’t consider his association with them to be a concern.

          • Brian taylor says:

            Hm.What about the women with the issue of blood who satan had bound,and the epelectic with a deaf and dumb spirit.

          • Tony says:

            Brian:

            With respect, I’d love to talk with you about the details of these events. However, before we can have any truly meaningful discussion about what the Bible says, we must AGREE on what the Bible says. Your comment is short, but it says a lot about your point of view. Here are two things we know:

            1. We can read about Jesus healing the woman with the issue of blood in Matthew 9, Mark 5, and Luke 8. None of these passages mention anything about Satan, or about binding him.
            2. We can read about Jesus healing the demon-possessed boy in Matthew 17, Mark 9, and Luke 9. None of those passages say that he had epilepsy.

            The fact that YOU make those claims tells me that you’re willing to assume more than what the Scriptures tell us. That’s not uncommon, but it’s not good… especially when you’re trying to determine what God does, and does not, do. It’s one thing to speculate – and I enjoy speculating – and another to draw conclusions about spiritual things that aren’t found in the Bible. Your first example is simply made up… whether you made it up or someone else did, it’s still made up. Nothing in any of the gospels suggests that she was bleeding because of demonic activity. As for the boy, he had seizures… but those were caused by the demon. Jesus got rid of the demon. The idea that the demon gave the boy epilepsy that was then healed when the demon left just isn’t found in the text.

            I get your point: that, as Smith Wigglesworth claimed, demons cause illness and unbelief. However: I find nothing in Scripture to back up either claim. I could be wrong, but I haven’t seen those verses. I welcome your input, if you can shed more light on the subject. Thanks!

    • John says:

      How can you say Arnold Murray serpent seed doctrine is false. Have you not read John 8:41 – 47 pretty clear I think.

      • Tony says:

        John:

        Why don’t you go ahead and explain what you mean – and what Murray meant – using Scriptures like John 8? I’m pretty sure you do NOT mean that Eve had sex with Satan and bore Cain, but one never knows… so, before I explain myself, let’s get on the same page. Okay? Thanks!

        • Anders says:

          That is exactly what this writer means. “The Serpent, under the influence of Satan, deceived Eve into a sexual act resulting in the conception of Cain and later that day she had a relationship with Adam resulting in the conception of Abel.” (Present Truth Ministries)
          The author of this heresy loses all credibility from the very beginning of his treatise by referring to the tree of knowledge of good and evil as simply “the tree of knowledge”. A typical subterfuge of heretics.

        • John says:

          I don’t see what needs to be explained about John 8:41-47 because it itself is explanatory enough an eight year old can understand it!! If you read the verses and translate from the New Testament which is in Greek. Do NOT use the English dictionary because that and the newest translations of the Bible are rewritten by man (kenites) This is not in anyway to down you Tony or anyone else!! Our job is to teach the TRUTH about the FATHERS word. Funny to me you couldn’t counter with any versus, you needed me to explain myself. I didn’t post on a website that Dr Arnold Murray was a False Teacher YOU did!!!! So back up what you are saying about what his teachings are!!!!!!

          • Tony says:

            … and there it is. Happens all the time. You come to my website and tell me I’m wrong, but can’t bother taking the time to explain. Instead, you imply that I’m a moron because a child would easily understand what I’ve so obviously missed. That makes perfect sense, except that virtually every theologian throughout all of church history has rejected this serpent seed nonsense.

            In addition, let’s make sure the record is straight. You mentioned a passage of Scripture that you believe corroborates your beliefs. I didn’t make fun of you, or tell you that you’re an idiot, or even suggest that you’re wrong. I simply wanted to make sure we were on the same page, but you aren’t interested. In my 40+ years of dealing with cultists, that’s been my experience again and again. Rather than patiently explaining how someone has misunderstood, rather than being gentle in correcting someone, rather than being gracious and caring, people who believe fringe, wacko things that contradict the Bible almost always get defensive, get angry, get aggressive, and then they get lost. Virtually every time, they run away.

            Let’s see what you’re made of, shall we? Are you going to run, or stay and teach? I can, by the way, read and translate from the Greek. I also know that you’re completely, utterly, 100% unable to back up the idiotic idea that “the newest translations of the Bible” were written by Kenites. That’s quite a hole you’re digging. Will you keep digging, stop digging, or simply bail out like so many before you?

            I have a theory. Prove me wrong, John.

          • John says:

            No, I never said you or anyone was a moron!!! I simply asked you to back up what you claim with scripture!! YOU CAN’T or you would’ve by now!!!! As so many of you do is just talk!!! Give myself and others scripture to back up your claim!!! I’m NOT mad, angry or any that you’ve accused me of!!! John 8:41-47 is the word of GOD NOT mine!! You write a bunch of gibberish to try and throw off your followers. Your claim as a cult you and I should be able to have a civilized conversation without you being so ANGRY about TRUTH!!! Christ would’ve never spoke to someone as you’ve spoken to me BROTHER!!

          • Tony says:

            Now now, John… don’t be so hasty. Don’t back away from what you’ve said. As I wrote last night, you IMPLIED that I’m a moron. Why? Because: when I asked for your thoughts on John 8, you said it’s so self-explanatory that an eight year-old could understand it. Rather than engaging in a mature conversation about where our beliefs might differ, you suggested that your beliefs are so self-evident that they need no explanation. Also, gibberish? Really? No, now is not the time to backpedal. Stand up for yourself!

            Also: while you SAY you’re not angry, almost two dozen exclamation points tell a different story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =)

            May I suggest that you take a few moments to reread all of what you and I have written? That’s a good place to start. Then, perhaps, we can begin again. Maybe we can even have a respectful dialogue about whose beliefs more closely match what God has said in Scripture. Doesn’t that sound good?

            Let’s first agree that your view is the minority view. That doesn’t make it wrong, of course. It simply means that most Christians, throughout history, have not believed it. Further, almost everyone who claims the name of Christ has either 1) never heard of the serpent seed doctrine, or 2) has rejected it as unbiblical. Can we agree on that?

            Then we need to define what the doctrine entails. While there are a handful of variations, the primary idea – as taught by Arnold Murray – is that Eve had sex with Satan in the garden of Eden and, as a result, gave birth to Cain. Then she had sex with Adam and gave birth to Abel and Seth. Are we on the same page so far?

            Then we can go to the text. I don’t know which translation of the Bible you think is safe from the insidious machinations of the Kenites, so here are the NIV, the KJV, and the Hebrew:

            Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.”

            And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.

            וְהָאָדָם יָדַע אֶת־חַוָּה אִשְׁתּוֹ וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד אֶת־קַיִן וַתֹּאמֶר קָנִיתִי אִישׁ אֶת־יְהוָֽה׃

            The Hebrew, by the way, says this: “‘āḏām yāḏaʿ ḥaûâ ‘iššâ hārâ yālaḏ qayin ‘āmar qānâ ‘îš ‘ēṯ Yᵊhōvâ.” The NASB, which is likely the most accurate word-for-word translation available, translates it this way: Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have obtained a male child with the help of the Lord.”

            Arnold Murray claims that Cain’s parents were Eve and Satan. I can find nothing in the text to suggest that this is an accurate representation of history. In fact, I see that the Bible contradicts Murray’s claim. Even were we to put aside the text and consider the question logically, it’s idiotic. For Murray to be correct, Satan would have to have DNA that’s compatible with human DNA for Eve to conceive. Do you believe that? That would make the Kenites hybrids (something that Murray taught), but the rest of us are simply boring old humans. No, that makes no sense. There’s nothing in Scripture to suggest such a thing.

            When Jesus, in John 8, called certain Jews children of the devil, He clearly – based solely on the text – was speaking metaphorically. How do we know this? Because, in the same passage, He twice called them children of Abraham (v37 and v56). Later, in the same passage, He lumps Himself in with them when He said

            You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died, are You?

            Come on, John. This doctrine doesn’t match what we see in Scripture. I gave you the first opportunity to show that what you believe, and what Arnold Murray taught, is biblical. Twice you passed on the opportunity, so I decided to preempt you. Now you have a choice. Here are your options:

            1. You can do nothing.
            2. You can do something. That might include repeating your claims about my intelligence, my writing skills, and so on… but it might include addressing the issue at hand, which is comparing what God has said with what you have said.

            What will you choose? Truly, genuinely: I hope that you will embark on a study of the Scriptures to make sure that you agree with God. This isn’t a battle between you and me, of course. There’s no point in dueling beliefs… not when you and I both claim to follow Jesus, and believe that the Bible is trustworthy. We should both be like the Bereans and check the Scriptures. I hope you’re up to it.

          • Anders says:

            “You are of your father the devil…” Joh. 8.44
            This statement is true of all the descendents of Adam whether thru Seth or thru Cain.
            Everyone born into the world is “of the devil”, according to Matt. 13.38, 1 Joh. 3.8, Eph. 2.2, Col. 1.21 and Rom. 3.10-18. Every human being is “born” of satan, a “child of disobedience”, and a “child of wrath”.
            “BUT as many as received Jesus, to them gave the Father the right TO BECOME the sons of God.” Joh. 1.12.
            “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” 1 Joh. 5.1 “Being born again… by the Word of God.” 1 Pet. 1.23

          • John says:

            [Edited]

            Anders…
            You and Toney…
            Don’t fall for Tony’s Gibberish…

            [Editor’s Note: No, John. You don’t get to dodge the issue. If you can’t address my previous post with integrity – regardless of whether we disagree – you should just find another place to peddle your nonsense. If it’s not nonsense, show us. Don’t bother calling people names, or posting insults. Deal with the issue at hand, using Scriptural arguments. You brought up John 8. I responded about John 8. Now you want to move on, ignoring my response? Not gonna happen, my friend. Don’t like it? Move along. Want to show the world how right you are? Be my guest!]

          • Tony says:

            Maybe John is really, really busy double-checking his beliefs with Scripture, to make sure he’s on the same page as God. I hope so.

  2. Tom Carpio says:

    Hi, I just wanted to ask, is the TBN you are referring to in the list “False Teachers” the TV station “Trinity Broadcasting Network”? I follow and watch Dr. David Jeremiah’s teaching from that station. But the station also air most of the “false teachers” you were referring to, so I’m confused. But thanks to the list you have provided. I believe them to be true. I have watched Joseph Prince a couple of times and I might have missed the points you have made about him, maybe because of my hard of hearing? Thank you for what you do, sir!

    • Tony says:

      Tom:

      Thanks for asking! Yes, the TBN on my list is the Trinity Broadcasting Network. In no way to I mean to imply that everyone associated with them, or everyone who appears on air, is suspect. The founders, and most of the show hosts, are part of the Word of Faith movement… and so, because they teach false things, they’re on the list. I respect David Jeremiah very much, and have never heard him say anything I considered problematic.

      As for Joseph Prince, I have an article about him specifically. As I point out in the article, I really like a LOT of what he says. Unfortunately, saying true things doesn’t undo saying false things… so, in spite of my appreciation for much of what Prince teaches, I feel the need to point out the unbiblical things that he does teach. Does that make sense?

      • Andrew says:

        David Jeremiah is now actively joining hands with jim bakker

        • Tony says:

          Andrew:

          Please respond with links. It’s not enough to make a claim without context. If we’re going to complain that someone is off-base, we need to first establish that our observations are accurate. I’m not saying I don’t believe you. I’m saying that we should be diligent in avoiding even the appearance of gossip.

          Thanks!

  3. Anders Jonsson says:

    In response to Keith’s question about tongues, I would like to refer to a couple verses that I think support cessationism. Matt. 9.6 declares why Jesus did miracles: that men might know that He has power on earth to forgive sins. Similarly, Heb. 2.4 tells how God gave the apostles miraculous powers to confirm their testimonies. From the context it seems, to me at least, that those special powers were for that specific time. There was a reason for them then. Just like in the days of Moses and in the days of Elijah. Of course, God can do something similar at some future time. But I don’t see any evidence of it today.

    • Tony says:

      Anders:

      Cessationism is an interesting topic. For those who don’t know, it’s the belief that spiritual gifts (like speaking in tongues) were only for the apostles, or for the first generation of Christians. Let’s take a look at what you’ve written…

      >> miracles
      It’s biblically accurate to suggest that the primary function of Jesus’ miracles was to establish His identity as God and Messiah. One might suggest that spiritual gifts do not fall under the category of miracles. Yes, the Reformation argument for cessationism (where the idea comes from) was in response to Roman Catholic claims of miracles, but it’s not at all clear to me that they are the same.

      >> Heb. 2.4 tells how God gave the apostles miraculous powers to confirm their testimonies.

      That’s NOT what Hebrews 2:4 tells us. Here it is, with context:
      We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

      Notice that there’s no mention of apostles… not in the previous chapter or anywhere in chapter 2. Hebrews 2:4 is most definitely NOT an argument for cessationism, as it provides no evidence that the ‘signs, wonders, and various miracles’ have not been distributed by the Holy Spirit beyond the apostolic age.

      To make a serious claim for cessationism, one would also need to explain modern occurrences of the manifestation of spiritual gifts… not just tongues, but the rest. After spending time with many missionaries over the years, it seems far too broad to claim that they are all counterfeits, and that God doesn’t work that way anymore. I’m very skeptical of the typical CharisPental claims about what happens in their churches, but I’m unable to rule out the sincere and mature believers I’ve known for years who explain their own personal experiences that make cessationism, for me, untenable.

  4. Anders says:

    Yes, cessationism is an interesting topic, and yes, there is a lot to be skeptical about regarding charismatic/pentecostal claims. And yes, things happen on the mission field that don’t seem to happen in Europe or America. But here is my question: Salvation was announced (past tense) by the Lord. It was confirmed to us (past tense) by THOSE WHO HEARD HIM. (How is that not a reference to apostles?) And God testified (past tense) to their witness by… gifts of the Holy Spirit. Does not Heb. 2.4 at least give some weight to the cessationists argument?
    That said, I noticed for the first time that the KJV seems to support the cessationist view more than other versions I’ve read. Heb. 2.4 in the KJV reads, “God also bearing THEM witness with… gifts.” And the THEM is in italics. ie. not found in the Greek. So the KJV reader could deduce that the signs and gifts were given “them”, but not “us”.

    • Tony says:

      Anders:

      No, Hebrews 2:4 says nothing about cessationism, and gives no weight to any cessationist argument. The fact that something happened in the past tense is no indication that it was a one-time event, or a closed series of events. I do understand the point of cessationism… the miracles that occurred in the first century provided strong evidence that Jesus is who He claims to be. When John the Baptist wanted to know with certainty that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus pointed to His works. That’s plain to see. That’s not the whole story, however. The miracles established Jesus’ identity, but that’s not all they did. They also, for example, healed people. That’s not nothing, that’s something. People need healing, and Jesus provided it. Those healings pointed to a greater spiritual reality, but they were also a lesser physical reality that we shouldn’t discount.

      There’s no question that God heals today. A member of my family was miraculously healed. I have friends who have been miraculously healed. To make a cessationist argument hold water, we have to go beyond the clear Scriptures into speculation. Speculation is okay. I like to speculate. I’m sure you would agree that we should avoid making doctrinal statements that can only be based in speculation. There are no Bible verses that clearly spell out the end of spiritual gifts, or the end of miracles… and none point to a future ending here on earth.

      As for the italicized words, I’m not going to be critical there. We simply need to employ all of the tools at our disposal to interpret the Bible, and that includes all of the manuscripts. The KJV translators didn’t have access to the enormous wealth of manuscripts that we’ve found in the past 400 years. They did the best they could, but the Greek doesn’t suggest a ‘them.’

      συνεπιμαρτυροῦντος τοῦ θεοῦ σημείοις τε καὶ τέρασιν καὶ ποικίλαις δυνάμεσιν καὶ πνεύματος ἁγίου μερισμοῖς κατὰ τὴν αὐτοῦ θέλησιν

      God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. It’s the same in the Textus Receptus as in the other manuscripts, which tells us that the “them” probably doesn’t belong. Good catch, though. One more reason that the KJV should be appreciated, but superceded… don’t you think?

    • John Dueck says:

      The word “them” in Hebrews 2:4 I believe the translators could not translate the sentence from the Greek to English properly so the added “them” in italics so it made sense.

  5. Tommy Belesky says:

    i have been giving money to benny hinn ministries for years and your telling me he is a false teacher??? what about texe marrs and rebecca brown who was really ruth bailey, both are dead, they were false teachers, what about Alan Beal who may have a different last name cause of marriage from gore, new zealand, is he not a false teacher?

    • Tony says:

      Tommy:

      Yes, Benny Hinn is a false teacher. This is beyond dispute. The only people who defend Hinn as a good teacher are those who are engrossed in his ministry to the point that they stop comparing what he teaches against God’s Word. I’m sorry that you’ve faithfully given your money to a trickster, but that’s what he is. He’s one of the worst offenders. I’ve begun compiling a list of some of the outrageous things he’s taught. I’ll give you one for the moment: there are nine members of the Godhead. That’s right. Benny Hinn taught that the Father is a trinity, the Son is a trinity, and the Holy Spirit is a trinity… and clarified it by saying there ARE nine of them in total. He certainly preaches a prosperity gospel, which is clearly false. There are plenty of websites online that outline what Hinn has said, so you don’t have to take my word for it. In fact, Hinn himself – several times over the years, including last year – has said that he has taught falsely. That’s the most believable thing I’ve heard him say so far.

      I don’t want to demean him personally. That’s not my goal. My goal is to make sure that good people like you know the difference between what Jesus said and what false teachers say. My list is very incomplete so far. I don’t know much about Texe Marrs yet, but Rebecca Brown was definitely a false teacher. I don’t know about Alan Beal, but I will put him on my list of people to check out. Thanks for writing!

  6. Andrew says:

    Do you take recommendations for other false teachings / teachers to be added to this list?

    • Tony says:

      Andrew:

      Yes, of course. The list is very incomplete, and there are many false teachers I’ve never heard of. If you can, with your recommendations, describe what you see as their false teaching, that would also be helpful. Thanks!

  7. Cindy says:

    What do you know about Joseph A Cortez? I ran across a e-book of his on Revelation and I’ve NEVER heard such things EVER. Some of it sounds interesting but Im not sure I trust his teaching. Ive never heard of him until now.

    • Tony says:

      Cindy:

      I’ve not heard of him. Is there something about what you’ve read that concerns you?

      In your shoes, I would remain skeptical for a time. Please also remain skeptical of me and what I’ve written. Check things out for yourself. Compare what’s written with what you read in your Bible. Compare what’s written with other, well-established Christian teachers. Pray that the Holy Spirit, who is God, will help you understand what God’s Word says.

      Generally speaking, I don’t concern myself much with prophecy and ‘last days’ things. It’s not that I consider them unimportant. They’re in the Bible, so we should be familiar with them. However: I’m instantly skeptical of any teacher, church, or movement that focuses heavily on those things. Jesus taught that we should be ready for His return at any time. He also explained that while there are signs of His coming, nobody knows when it will be. We should be less focused on WHEN He’s coming back and more focused on what we’re supposed to be doing UNTIL He comes back. Having taught Revelation myself, I find that an undue fascination with prophecy too often turns into an obsession that keeps believers busy thinking about current events, rather than being focused on obeying Jesus by living what He taught, including being a witness for Him and serving others.

      We would all do well to focus on the core of the gospel, and make sure that we’re ready for His return as well. Let me know if there’s any way I can help you with that. Thanks!

  8. Anders says:

    Never heard of Joseph Cortes before, but I watched a one-hour video by him (nr. 9-302 from 2009) out of curiosity, and have to admit I was quite taken. I’ve never claimed to understand Revelations, but what Cortes teaches is radical, grounded, and makes one want hear more. His premise is that the book was written for Christians but not to us. It was written to the Jews. Much in the chapters concerns events that are past. He identifies anti-Christ, explains Jacob’s troubles, and shows where USA in named in Scripture.

    • Tony says:

      Anders:

      Thanks for the info. I would dispute his claim that Revelation was written to the Jews. I mean, the first three chapters are written to churches. Jews didn’t go to church, they went to synagogue. The biblical term Christian only applies to those who are born again, while the term Jew applied to the entire nation of Israel. Clearly, Revelation was written to believers, and not just those who traced their lineage to Abraham. There’s no question that Revelation was written to believers in a Jewish context, as the majority of its verses refer to Old Testament passages… but that doesn’t mean it was written to the nation of Israel.

      I’m a partial preterist. That means that I believe some of the prophetic events of Revelation have already occurred. On that he and I might agree. On seeing the USA in Scripture, I have grave doubts. The only way that America is mentioned in the Bible is if we’re actually IN the last days, and I’m not sure of that at all. Most preterists would question it.

      I haven’t heard or read anything by him, so I’m in no position to judge anything beyond what you’ve written. I do appreciate you taking the time, by the way. I would caution you, and anyone else, to spend very little time studying eschatology. The lessons of Scripture do not much include being up to date on how current events might or might not fit into apocalyptic Scriptures. The lessons do very much include being ready, and being ON TASK. That is, particularly, knowing and doing what the rest of the New Testament says. End-times stuff matters, but far less than seeking His kingdom today.

  9. Anders says:

    After listening to more of Joseph Cortes (pronounced Courts) I would second your caution about focusing too much on eschatology. I guess the other ditch to be avoided would be ignoring it all together, which is the tendency in the Lutheran church. Cortes rambles and teases but in general it seems to me that he is wanting to expose pre trib premillennialism as false teaching which first appeared with Darby around 1830. Fascinating study, but not easy to come to any final resolution.

    • Tony says:

      Thanks for the update, Anders. We agree: if it’s in the Bible, we should be aware of it, and spend time working to understand it. Making one thing a primary focus, however, seems unwise. I have a friend who’s concerned about the salvation of young people… and somehow believes that focusing almost exclusively on Genesis 1-3 is the key. I have another friend who wants believers to receive all that God has for them… and somehow believes that focusing on our identity in Christ is the key. Still others believe that the key is ‘praying on’ the armor of God each morning, or that observing the feasts of Judaism unlocks all understanding, and so on. All of these things are good, but ultimately detrimental to their faith because they lack the wisdom to study ALL of the Scriptures. You seem far, far wiser than they. Have a great day!

  10. Jeannette says:

    A friend of mine was asking if I could find any solid information about Steve Maltz, as someone she knows thinks he is wonderful. Being certain he is a false teacher, she is concerned. A search sent me here and I like what I see so far – especially as you are not a cessationist! So many are, understandably, put off genuine spiritual gifts by all the deceptive and demonic things claimed to be from the Holy Spirit and lump them all together as evil by definition.

    Do you have any information besides his NAR connection that might help pin down what Steve Maltz teaches?

    Thank you

    • Tony says:

      Jeannette:

      Thanks for asking. With regard to spiritual gifts, I see no good arguments for cessationism. I do see plenty of opinions, but they seem to contradict both Scripture and experience.

      I’d never heard of Steve Maltz. I’m pretty good at finding things online, but I can’t find anything related directly to what he believes. I see nothing at this point to indicate that he’s a false teacher, but it appears that he focuses strongly on prophecy. Most of the time, people asking whether someone is a false teacher are really asking whether someone’s understanding of prophecy is biblically accurate. They don’t know much about what Jesus taught, and haven’t studied the Bible… so they’re drawn to the sensational, which is often someone teaching about biblical prophecy. I don’t know if that describes your friend or not, of course… but there are SO MANY good teachers out there that I would simply steer clear of anyone who spends a lot of time on prophecy.

      While prophecy is important – it IS in the Bible, after all – it’s not THAT important. Consider all of the rest of the Bible, and ask whether focusing on one facet of God’s Word is a wise and healthy approach to spiritual maturity. I would strongly suggest that it’s not. Any teacher or preacher whose main focus is prophecy has often, in my experience, abandoned what Jesus taught and commanded in favor of talking about topics that immature believers find more fascinating.

      Until I can find more on Steve Maltz, I would rest on this: if he’s connected IN ANY WAY to prominent NAR folks, he’s to be avoided at all costs. They’re not just a little off-base. They’re not just interpreting unclear Scriptures in a slightly different way than I prefer. The foundation of what they teach is contrary to God’s Word, and that should be enough.

      • Jeannette says:

        Thank you for your reply and for the good work you are doing.

        It seems that Steve Maltz must remain a mystery for now, but the Lord will make things plain (Malachi 3:18?).

        My friend’s friend is the one who (after appearing very “sound” and balanced as long as she has known her) seems to have become enthralled by false teachers. One of them was obvious, such as a doctor who turned out on a quick check to be a New Age “Healing guru” talking about “Listening to your body and “Connecting with the Divine”.

        I hope that I’m not too obsessed with prophecy as such. Yet it seems plain that we are seeing the great apostasy foretold in scripture happening before our eyes. So many Christian leaders seem to be suddenly falling away and taking their followers with them, while false teachers and prophets multiply.

        It’s a fine line, isn’t it – being aware of the signs of the times and Enemy tactics, yet not becoming an ardent “Conspiracy theorist”. Isaiah 8:11-14 is always a steadying influence.

        Yours in Christ

        Jeannette

  11. Anders says:

    Steve Maltz has written a book called, God’s Signature, The Wonders of the Hebrew Language. According to Amazon, “you will learn in this book: How Moses wrote his five books; How the Hebrew language speaks to us; What God’s real name is; Which translations of the Bible are truly inspired; What the Jewish scribes did for us; What separates man from the animals; Where Jesus hid in the Old Testament; Which Hebrew letter spoke of the virgin birth; Which method of Bible interpretation you never hear about; How to say the Aaronic blessing properly;” You can also hear Maltz on Youtube where he, for example, explains how the church lost the truth.

    • Tony says:

      That last bit got me, Anders. “How the church lost the truth” is the refuge of gnosticism, most cults of Christianity, and theological liberals around the globe. The presumption is that those in power preferred certain messages and didn’t prefer others, and so they suppressed the “real truth.” We should be soooo grateful for these amazing leaders who, like Joseph Smith, have “restored” the gospel for us.

      I hope you don’t mind a bit of sarcasm. There’s no sense in which the church lost the truth. Agreed?

    • Jeannette says:

      Thank you. Yes “How the church lost the truth” does sound rather strange and even cult-like. The only problem is in knowing exactly what “Truth” it’s supposed to have lost. It doesn’t sound like it but it could simply mean the truth that we need to repent and be saved, instead of the modern tendency of preaching “Gospel lite”

      It also sounds as if he may be into “Hebrew Roots”. Or might he just be explaining how the Bible should be understood from the Jewish perspective in which it was already written.

    • Jeannette says:

      Don’t misunderstand my last comment. It does seem certain Steve Maltz is dodgy. It’s just that false teachers tend to wriggle out of criticism by saying they didn’t mean what we think they mean

  12. Fred says:

    How did Ken Copeland not make the cut?

  13. Anders says:

    Has the church lost the truth? I can only answer for the denomination I have belonged to for the past 35 years. The seminaries, the leadership, including the archbishop, bishops and majority of the priests, have long since denied the authority of the Scriptures. Why would anyone stay in a church like that, you may well ask. I’m often tempted to leave, but happily there are still groups of lay people and a few ministers who “receive the Word with all readiness of mind and search the Scriptures daily whether these things are true.” Wherever that is happening you cannot claim that the truth has been lost.

  14. Salim says:

    Dear Sir !!You should know the word of faith is not False teaching ,If you have the gift of faith & speak the word according to the guidance of the Holy Spirit it is not a false teaching, You can not blame the Anointed of God
    ….
    Be Carefull ,Sir …..

    Teaching the Anointed with Negative about them is Good ……..

    • Tony says:

      Dear Salim:

      Thank you for your message. Unfortunately, you have been misled. Anyone who claims to speak in the name of Christ must also teach what Jesus taught. That means that what we teach must match Scripture. Word of Faith theology does not match Scripture. It is a lie.

      How is it a lie? Simple: it makes man and God equal. How? Think about it carefully, my friend: if God created the universe by speaking faith-filled words, and if we can change reality by doing the same, where is the difference between Creator and creation? The Bible makes it clear that man is not God, and that God isn’t like man… but Word of Faith teachers contradict the Bible. For example, many teach that we have the same power that God has. Some teach that humans aren’t ‘made in God’s image,’ but are exact duplicates of God. That is a lie.

      You’ve also fallen for the oldest trick in the book, my friend. When someone warns you that another person is going to come and accuse them of something terrible, and that you must not believe it, and that you must defend them against accusation and accuser, you should not believe them. You should test all things, including what they tell you to believe. The Bereans heard Paul the apostle, and then they double-checked what he said by looking at the Scriptures. The ones who have been teaching you have done the opposite: they have not told you to test them, but to protect them by saying things like “touch not God’s anointed.” If Peter is not God’s anointed, then nobody is… and Paul corrected him when he was wrong. If Paul is not God’s anointed, then nobody is… and the Bereans tested whatever he told them.

      You and I should do no less, my friend. Listen to what the Word of Faith teachers say, and then be like the Bereans. They were commended, and you will be as well.

      • Suzan says:

        I did online researching on false prophets and read comments on your site and found it interesting. As a child of GOD since early 80’s I have learnt and experienced a lot and most valuable lesson I’ve learnt is that it’s not all about me but about GOD…discern the spirits…if not in Bible and not explained and taught by Ruach Hakodesh then it’s false…we are to pray for those in leadership…personally I have never been political in putting my trust in any government or man and I vote for the kingdom of heaven…flesh does come in when the Word is proclaimed but we are commanded to discern and TO READ AND MEDITATE on the word by and in HIS HOLY SPIRIT…it is indeed a narrow and hard path…I love YESHUA with everything I have and HE protects me from wolves in sheep clothing…

    • Andrew says:

      1 Cor 18-31
      Eph 2

    • Andrew says:

      Deut 18(18:20)

    • Andrew says:

      Salim how can you justify your statement with scripture to back your stance?

      In Gal 2:11-21 Paul rebuking/correcting Peter

      1 Tim 1 don’t teach strange doctrines(doctrines not found in scripture) and the kicking out of the church 2 false teachers

      Matt 7 judging those that are believers for correction and restoration of the beliver in sin.

      1 Cor 5 (judges a man for unhabitual sexual immorality and kicking man out of the church)

      For instances of Paul kicking unrepentant false teachers and unrepentant sinner, he would have handled proper church discipline that is laid out in (Matt 18(18:15-17)

      1 Cor 5(5:12-13) 1 Corinthians 5:12–13 (NASB95): 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?
      13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.”

      Juding is here in greek is to decide,to think,- basically to evaluate- so if one is claiming Christ we have a standard to judge(evaluate) if the are a believer, are they teaching starage doctrines (this that are not found in scripture- extra biblical revelation)

      Hebrews 1:1 states God doesnt speak through prophets and via signs anymore because we have the completed Word(the Bible).

      1 Tim 3:16-17 2 Timothy 3:16–17 (NASB95): “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
      17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

      Deuteronomy 18:10–12 (NASB95): 10There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,
      11 or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.
      12 “For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord; and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out before you.
      Do not touch God’s anointed was meaning about old testament prophets, which when we look in Hebrew 1:1 God doesnt speak through prophets anymore

      So how and you justify your statement when the Biblical Council(what Scripture says time and time again) that we do have the right to evaluate and say if someone is teaching false doctrine, what scripture are you using to justify your point?

      https://www.gotquestions.org/touch-not-Gods-anointed.html

  15. Tom Carpio says:

    Greetings brother Tony. I stumbled this video on FB while following Wretched.org. Paul and Jan Crouch interview of Walter Martin (RIP) uploaded by Reformed Christian Voice Radio. Maybe you’ve seen it but here it is anyway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb_T750l8ow

    God bless you sir!

    • Tony says:

      Tom:

      First, many thanks. I grew up listening to Walter Martin, and I appreciate hearing him once again.

      Second, I heartily recommend ANYTHING that Martin said or wrote… from short clips off the radio to his excellent Kingdom of the Cults.

  16. Melissa says:

    Could you please tell me about Rick Warren. I have a hunch he is a false teacher.

    • Tony says:

      Melissa:

      I wouldn’t consider Rick Warren a false teacher. He’s drawn a lot of criticism in recent years, which makes it appear like there’s a lot to be worried about. I haven’t followed his ministry closely, but most of the criticisms I’ve heard are pretty thin. His critics usually don’t quote him directly, for example. They quote someone saying something about something Warren said, and his words can easily be taken out of context. As you can see here, I think it’s important to avoid gossip. I couldn’t care less what someone says about what someone else says, really. I want to hear it straight from the person in question.

      Some – I would call them hard-liners, or perhaps pharisees – have a problem with him reaching out to Muslims, for example. That’s pretty silly. We’re supposed to reach out to the lost. Critics created a new word for what they thought Warren was promoting: Chrislam, a combination religion of Christianity and Islam. Weird, huh? When this first came up, I spent some time watching Warren’s responses. He made it abundantly clear that he does not consider Islam compatible with Christianity, or believe that Allah and Yahweh are the same person, or that one can be saved by following Muhammad. I considered the matter closed at that point, and haven’t heard anything new that concerns me.

      Some have criticized Warren for not preaching the gospel clearly enough. They say he doesn’t use the right words. Well, I’ve received exactly the same criticism, so I’ve spent considerable time thinking about it. If I say to someone that they’ve turned their back on God and chosen to do things their own way, and that they should reverse course and trust that God’s way is best, and live by what Jesus taught, I’m using plain words to explain religious concepts to them. People have suggested that I’m watering down the gospel by not using words like sin and repentance. Well, I do use them… but not all the time. That doesn’t mean I ignore sin, or think that people don’t need to repent. It means that I’m working hard to communicate with the lost in words they understand. Certain critics don’t like it, but I’m okay with that. My goal isn’t to please everyone. My goal is to please God by reaching out to the lost and helping them trust that God loves them, that they should turn their lives and hearts over to Him, and do what He says. Seems fine to me, so I have no real problem with Warren doing the same.

      If and when I see actual quotes from Warren that contradict Scripture, I will definitely address the question again. Until then, I would suggest that your hunch may be, at this point, misguided. Does that make sense?

    • Fred says:

      At first glance, everything that Rick Warren says sounds great. However, there are problems beneath the surface, beyond the introductory material. The main issue is that after you get into the program a bit, the focus is taken away from Christ crucified, the salvation message, sin and redemption and more towards Rick’s programs. Whether that is purpose driven, how to be a better leader, or some type of social justice gospel. He has a habit of using multiple versions of the Bible, sometimes paraphrased, to make his points, rather than seeing what the Bible has to say, and speak from that. I know of a Pastor that said he had to make a choice, either serve Rick or serve Jesus, you can’t do both.

      • Tony says:

        Fred:

        Please listen carefully. If you haven’t yet read What is a False Teacher, I suggest you do so now. Why? Because I won’t be publishing all of your comments as they were written. Why? Because you’re doing exactly the opposite of what you should do. I would be happy to publish anything you write that lines up with the principles I’ve written about in that article.

        You say there are problems. Maybe there are. Maybe you say his focus is off-target. Maybe it is. However: I will not be guilty of publishing rumors or gossip. If you have something to say about whether a person is a false teacher, then – by all means – say it, say it loud, and say it clear. You’re only missing one thing:

        PROOF

        You may not realize it, but what you’ve done so far is to engage in hearsay. Rather than showing what Warren says, you say that Warren does this, or does that. Perhaps you’re right, but you’re asking everyone to believe you and not believe Warren. That won’t do. We need evidence that he’s wrong and you’re right, and your own word simply isn’t enough. That’s why I won’t say that someone is a false teacher unless I have quotes, either from their books or from videos… and I don’t summarize them. I quote them exactly.

        In another comment, which I won’t publish, you ask people to look in books that other people have written about Warren. It’s the same thing: you’re asking us to believe that you’re right about what Smith and Hutchings have written, and that they’re right about what they claim Warren does. You shouldn’t feel free to comment in that way, and I certainly don’t feel free to publish your comments when you engage in rumors and gossip.

        Please: don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending Warren. If you have evidence, I’d love to see it. Because you haven’t produced any, I can’t agree… and I can’t echo your words by publishing them. You and I agree that the gospel is the main point. Where people claim to follow Jesus and preach the truth but do not, I want to save people from the lies that can destroy them. I’m on your side, but I – clearly – feel very strongly about the right way to do it. I hope my strong response won’t get in the way of you posting in the future. You’ve done me a service: I need to make sure to outline this process for future commenters, and I will. Thanks, and have a great day, my brother.

        • Fred says:

          Tony,
          I agree with your comment and I think Rick Warren should not be listed as a false teacher. However, I think it is fair to list some valid concerns about Rick Warren. One is the New Age / Progressive / Emergent gospel which has infiltrated many churches today which is noted in Rick Warren’s writings. Warren Smith has a few books on it including A Wonderful Deception and Deceived on Purpose. Noah Hutchings has The Dark Side of the Purpose Driven Church. Examples of the Emergent / New Age gospel is explored in these books. But that is not the primary concern. The primary concern is his insistence on using multiple Bible versions to use the Bible to craft his points, rather than looking at the Bible to structure his views. One version he uses is the Message Bible. The Bible represents absolute truth and the goal is to get to the original language as closely as possible. Many versions do this accurately such as the: KJV, NKJV, ESV, NIV, NASB, RSV, YLT, etc. But the Message Bible changes and distorts the word of God to give it a new meaning. There are numerous websites that show this on a verse by verse basis. One website is: https://www.chapter3min.org/the-message-verse-comparisons/ or https://www.doveministries.com/key-issues/dangers-of-the-message-bible/ Even the flagship verse of John 3:16 is changed.
          GotQuestions.org is an excellent resource and states: “The original version of The Message was printed without the traditional numbered verses, making it read more like a novel. Many people found this refreshing at first, but also found it inconvenient for cross-referencing, comparison with other versions, and group Bible studies. As far as the negatives are concerned, there are numerous websites and articles devoted to the translation errors in The Message, too numerous to reiterate here. Suffice it to say that The Message has engendered more criticism for its lack of serious scholarship and outright bizarre renderings than just about any other Bible version to date. One common complaint from many who read The Message or hear it read aloud is “I didn’t recognize it as the Bible.” Other critics declare The Message to be not a paraphrase of what the Bible says, but more of a rendering of what Eugene Peterson would like it to say. In an interview with Christianity Today, Peterson described the beginning of the creative process that produced The Message: “I just kind of let go and became playful. And that was when the Sermon on the Mount started. I remember I was down in my basement study, and I did the Beatitudes in about ten minutes. And all of a sudden I realized this could work.” Aside from the impossibility of doing justice to the Sermon on the Mount in ten minutes, one wonders whether playfulness is the appropriate demeanor for those who attempt to “rightly divide the word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Awe and reverence for a holy God and His holy Word, yes. Playfulness? No.”

          • Tony says:

            Fred:

            Good man. Thanks for rewriting this for publication. I’ve made a small edit, to make “Got questions” a link… they are indeed an excellent resource. It’s good to keep in mind that, to get their 600k+ articles, there are a LOT of authors. I wouldn’t say I agree with all of them, of course, but I do recommend them without hesitation. I also share your concerns about The Message, which I don’t really consider a Bible. It seems to be, as you’ve pointed out, Peterson’s message rather than a faithful translation of the Word of God.

            Have a great day, my friend!

  17. Anders says:

    The Purpose Driven Life had apparently sold over 30 million copies by 2007. The updated book cover now says over 34 million copies have sold, but Wikipedia claims the number is actually over 60 million. Regardless of the actual number, it’s a lot—so many that it’s been translated into over 85 languages.

    And, not only is it a top book on life purpose, but it’s consistently in the top 50 books of all-time. Publishers Weekly claims it is the “bestselling nonfiction hardback in history.”
    So it seems to me that Melissa’s question is an important one.

  18. Evangprince says:

    Stop destroying the chosen generation.Men and women called by God to do his will on earth.

    • Tony says:

      Evangprince:

      First, thanks for visiting. A few questions:

      1. In what way am I ‘destroying the chosen generation’?
      2. Who, exactly, are these people?
      3. What makes you think that you and I aren’t in the category of ‘called by God to do his will on earth’?

      In other words, let’s talk about this in detail.

  19. Fred says:

    I read some views and talking about president Trump. Yes they laid hands on him and prayed for him. Trump did a lot of good for the Christian community and tried defund plan parent hood. He had great policies. Key stone pipe line, cut regulation, lowered taxes, had built 450 miles of border fence and strengthen or tighten up immigration policies. Brought Syria/ IRack to a conclusion, took the US OUT of the US Paris accord. Abollis the deal with Iran. And put China on notice and much more and also making Jerusalem Isreals capital. You might not like him, but I like his policies.

  20. Jimmy says:

    What is the Passion Bible and why is it on your list

    • Tony says:

      Jimmy:

      Good question! The Passion was created by Brian Simmons. He’s part of the unbiblical New Apostolic Reformation, and TPT was written to promote their principles. It’s not a translation in the traditional sense of biblical translation. Typically, Bible translation teams have a goal in mind, and that goal drives their methodology. A stricter, word-for-word kind of translation like the NASB is concerned about accurately reflecting what the ancient manuscripts actually say. An idiomatic kind of translation, like the NIV, is concerned about accurately translating ideas for readability and comprehension.

      To compare, use the Spanish phrase “casa blanca.” English doesn’t work exactly like Spanish, so English speakers would say “white house,” rather than “house white.” The NASB would more likely translate that as “house white” and the NIV would more likely say “white house.” I don’t know if that overly-simplistic example makes sense, but that’s the difference between formal equivalence and dynamic equivalence. Both are entirely valid methods of translation, and they serve their purposes very well.

      The Passion is less of a translation and more of a commentary, where Simmons inserts his own words and ideas into the text. Here’s 2 Timothy 4:2 from the NIV and from the Passion:

      NIV: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

      TPT: Proclaim the Word of God and stand upon it no matter what! Rise to the occasion and preach when it is convenient and when it is not. Preach in the full expression of the Holy Spirit—with wisdom and patience as you instruct and teach the people.

      Notice the differences. We might explain the significant difference in the number of words if Simmons was helping us understand some very complex concepts. Instead, his stated goal is to produce passion in the reader… so he feels he must “translate” God’s Word in a way that causes people to feel more deeply. Notice also the inclusion of the Holy Spirit. Nothing wrong with the Holy Spirit, but Paul said nothing about Him in that verse. It’s simply not a translation. It’s a personal commentary.

      Finally, and I’ll give quoted examples when I write the full article about this ‘bible,’ Simmons makes some hard-to-swallow claims about the whole process. He claims to have been brought to Heaven to see Jesus, who showed him an extra chapter for the Bible that nobody knows about, and that Jesus told him that one day it would be given to him. He claims, contrary to the evidence, that the New Testament was originally written in Aramaic, and so he used Aramaic manuscripts for his work. Trouble is that the oldest Aramaic manuscripts we have are from the 5th century, far newer than most of the almost 6000 Greek manuscripts we’ve found. He also claims to have been given secret knowledge by God, which is a gigantic red flag.

      Does that answer your question for the moment? It’s on my list because people should know that it’s not a real Bible. Thanks for asking! Let me know if there’s more I can do for you.

  21. Anders says:

    I’ve been studying 1 Peter with some friends and the question of supersessionism (replacement theology) has come up. Is supersessionism false teaching, in your view? And who holds to this doctrine today? Or maybe I should ask, who doesn’t. Thanks.

    • Tony says:

      Anders:

      First, I’m happy to hear that you’re studying 1 Peter. I’m also happy to hear that you’re asking questions, rather than not asking questions.

      Supersessionism is a bit too broad for a simple yes or no answer. There are parts, and each part needs to be examined independently. I’ve written a quick article on it, which you can find here: Is Supersessionism Biblical?. Thanks for asking! If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment below the article.

      Have a great day!

  22. Bob Worthen says:

    Why is it over 90% of the so-called Christian Churches ignore the 4th of the 10 Commandments. God worked six days, Genesis 2:3, “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy…” Not only that but the 4th Commandment is the only Commandment that starts with the word REMEMBER. God knew this Commandment would not be “remembered” and seems to me to be an important sign between good and bad teachers.

    • Tony says:

      That’s a good question, Bob. Maybe so many “so-called Christian churches” – your words, not mine – ignore the command to observe sabbaths because those commands were given to the ancient Israelites as part of God’s covenant with them… and because Jesus instituted a new covenant, superseding the old one. Gentiles are grafted into the new covenant, so the commands from a covenant we were never part of would not apply to us.

      Haven’t you read the Scriptures? The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever….

      Are you an Israelite? Are you under the old covenant?

      • Keith says:

        The Sabbath observation was given to Adam. He was not a Jew/Israelite. The gift of the Sabbath is for all peoples for all times.

        • Tony says:

          Pastor Keith:

          First, welcome. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

          With respect, I can’t find the passage in Genesis where God gave Adam a command, or a suggestion, or a hint that anyone should observe any sort of sabbath. Could you point me in the right direction? Thanks!

  23. Bob Worthen says:

    Tony:
    I saw on another computer where you had left a reply to my original comments and question but here on my computer there is no reply from you. First of all, God made the Seventh Day Sabbath Holy at creation or as many have said, re-creation. It was then given as one of the Ten Commandments to the Israelites. Jesus Christ kept the Seventh Day Sabbath and his Disciples kept it after he died. Even the Holy Days or High Sabbaths will be kept in the future after Christ returns according to New Testament scripture. What man can make un-Holy what God made Holy? My contention is that NONE can. Except for Jesus Christ, the perfect sacrifice, we are all sinners and the only way for redemption is through him. We must do our best to follow his teachings and his example fully knowing that we can not do so without his Holy Spirit. In my own life I have 2 goals:
    1. To try to do what Jesus Christ would do if he were me by studying his life.
    2. To strive for perfection knowing that in this human life, I will never attain perfection.
    The most important Christian Trait: I Corinthians 13
    The most important thing to do: Matthew 6:14

    • Tony says:

      Bob:

      I do appreciate your comments. Your desire to do what God wants you to do is spot-on, and I wish more people shared that desire.

      However: you need to read the New Testament. You need to study the New Testament. You need to be able to tell the difference between what you were taught by humans and what humans were taught by God. By this I mean no offense, of course… but your comments reveal that your training has been insufficient. You’re close, but you need to keep going.

      What does it mean to be holy? I have no doubt you’ve heard the answer. It means ‘to be set apart for special use.’ When you make a bowl, it’s just a bowl. The bowls in the temple weren’t a different kind of thing than the bowls people used at home. The difference isn’t in the bowl itself, but in how it’s used. The bowl used in the temple was set apart from other bowls, and would not be used for any other purpose. That’s what holy means. When God made the seventh day holy, He set it apart from the other days for a special purpose. It’s not that the seventh day is different than the other six days. They’re all just days. It’s the purpose that matters.

      What was the purpose of setting aside the seventh day? What did God use it for? That’s the part that sabbatarians (among others) miss. They assume there’s something special about the day itself, rather than the purpose. You and I were made holy as well, Bob. There’s nothing particularly special about you and I that makes us different from any other human. We were set apart for special use, that’s all. That doesn’t make us better than other people, does it? Of course not. In the same way, the point of the sabbath is what God used it for.

      What did God use the sabbath for?

      According to Colossians 2:16-17, the sabbath was a shadow of things to come. The sabbath day isn’t special on its own, Bob… the purpose of the sabbath – the reason God set it apart from other days – is special. The sabbath pointed to Jesus: Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

      Don’t you see? The sabbath WAS important. It pointed to Jesus. Now that Jesus has come, there’s no need for sabbaths. Other humans will tell you otherwise, but God Himself has said this. The purpose for the seventh-day sabbath – the reason God set it apart from other days – was to point to the coming Messiah. Now that Messiah has come, we can point directly at Him. We can look back and see all of the other things that pointed to Him… like the temple, the sacrifices, the priesthood, the prophets, Hosea’s marriage to Gomer, Jonah’s anger, the bronze serpent, and a hundred other things. These are important, but they’re not special on their own. They’re special because they served a special purpose.

      You and I aren’t special on our own. We were bought with a price and set apart so God could use us in a particular kind of way. Right now, I’m doing what God set me apart to do. I’m trying to help you see past the ‘you have heard it said’ of other humans to the ‘but I say’ of God. Don’t take my word for it, Bob. Read the Scriptures. Study the Scriptures. The only command God gave to observe sabbaths was in the old covenant, which is no longer in force. The disciples did not keep the sabbath after Jesus died and was resurrected… or Paul would not have written Colossians 2 as he did, and the other leaders – Peter, James, John, Luke, and others – would have corrected him.

      The sabbath has served its purpose. It did what God intended for it to do. If you want to follow Jesus, then follow HIM… don’t follow the things you were taught that contradict God’s Word. Do your homework, Bob. This simple misunderstanding is, no doubt, keeping you from doing some of the good works God set aside for you to do. I wish you well, and I’m here for further discussion. If you belong to God, you belong to me… so keep in touch.

      By the way: my server tells me your comment was posted somewhere near Meridian. Maybe we used to be neighbors! I lived in Nampa and Fruitland for 16 years. =)

      • Joe Abbott says:

        Your statement: “The disciples 𝗱𝗶𝗱 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗸𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗮𝗯𝗯𝗮𝘁𝗵 after Jesus died and was resurrected… or Paul would not have written Colossians 2 as he did, and the other leaders – Peter, James, John, Luke, and others – would have corrected him.”

        Bible reveals the 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗰𝗶𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘀 𝗱𝗶𝗱 𝗸𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗮𝗯𝗯𝗮𝘁𝗵 after Jesus died and was resurrected:

        “…went into the synagogue on the 𝘀𝗮𝗯𝗯𝗮𝘁𝗵 day…” Acts 13:14
        “…the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next 𝘀𝗮𝗯𝗯𝗮𝘁𝗵.” Acts 13:42
        “And on the 𝘀𝗮𝗯𝗯𝗮𝘁𝗵we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made…” Acts 16:133
        “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three 𝘀𝗮𝗯𝗯𝗮𝘁𝗵 days reasoned with them out of the scriptures” Acts 17:2
        “…believing 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗮𝘄 and in the prophets:” Acts 24:14

        “…would have corrected him.” “..We find no evil in this man..” Acts 23:9 Infers Paul’s Sabbath keeping was not in question or doubted, even by his accusers.

        While opinions differ on the Sabbath it matters not, contemplate what Jesus actually did and would consistently do to honor the Father.

        • Tony says:

          Joe:

          Thanks for writing!

          Context matters. There’s no question that the disciples kept many of their traditions. They did not stop being Jews. However: there’s also no question that they no longer observed sabbaths as God commanded the Israelites to observe it as the sign of their covenant with Him. In Judaism, sabbath-keeping was of ultimate importance, and failing to keep the sabbath carried the death penalty. This wasn’t a human tradition, created over hundreds of years… according to Moses, this was a direct command from God Himself:

          Moses assembled the whole Israelite community and said to them, “These are the things the Lord has commanded you to do: For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a day of sabbath rest to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it is to be put to death.

          To claim that the disciples observed the sabbath is to claim that they ACTUALLY OBSERVED the sabbath as they had before following Jesus. Scripture is clear that they did not. Paul, a “Hebrew of Hebrews,” would not have told anyone to not let others judge them by sabbaths if sabbath-keeping had anything to do with following Jesus. It didn’t then, and it doesn’t now.

          • Joe says:

            Thanks for responding.

            You further emphasize “To claim that the disciples observed the sabbath is to claim that they ACTUALLY OBSERVED the sabbath as they had before following Jesus. 𝗦𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗽𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗱𝗶𝗱 𝗻𝗼𝘁.” I was unsuccessful at locating any scripture that delineated a change in HOW the disciples observed the Sabbath after the death and resurrection; maybe you can provide that discernment? The scripture is absolutely clear and irrefutable that the disciples continued to observed the Sabbath; despite your claim of otherwise. The scripture is absolutely clear and irrefutable that some of the Gentiles did also “…the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.” (Acts 13:42)

            “Context matters.” Absolutely it does and therefore consider to whom Paul was addressing his message and for what purpose. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17) If the Word is Truth, one needs to reconcile any perceived contradictions to truly know the absolute truth – divine guidance aids those who seek and ask.

            The following verse is profound, “𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙎𝙤𝙣 𝙤𝙛 𝙢𝙖𝙣 𝙞𝙨 𝙇𝙤𝙧𝙙 𝙖𝙡𝙨𝙤 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙖𝙗𝙗𝙖𝙩𝙝.” (Mark 2:28) Therefore one should heed the Word of the Lord, the Lord of the Sabbath, above all others.

            As Jesus sat upon Mount Olive revealing events yet to be fulfilled to the disciples he stated. “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, 𝗻𝗲𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗮𝗯𝗯𝗮𝘁𝗵 𝗱𝗮𝘆:” (Matthew 24:20) It can be reasonably discerned that Jesus knew the sabbath would still exist into the future upon His return. “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.” (1 John 5:2)

            Only inspiration from God can change a mind, a heart, a soul; Truth is the seed of inspiration.

            May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you and guide you.

          • Tony says:

            Joe:

            I love the fact that you want to rely on the Scriptures for this guidance! We’re of the same mind in that regard.

            No, I can’t provide for you any specific Scriptures that delineate the change in how the disciples observed the sabbath. There are no instructions, for example, on what the early Jewish believers were to do. What we do have are Scriptures that show the RESULT of following Jesus’ teaching, which shows a definite change. Obeying the Law was absolute, and there’s no way any of the Jewish disciples would write as they did if they believed themselves to be under the old covenant. We also have Scriptures that make abundantly clear that Gentiles were not required to follow the Law of Moses.

            Keep in mind the purpose of the sabbath: it was a sign between God and the Israelites. Sabbath-keeping was only for Israelites and those who chose to live with them in the promised land. You and I were never included in their covenant, and it no longer applies to them. We have a new covenant. It’s far better, more glorious, and it includes you and me.

          • Anders says:

            Observing the Sabbath:
            “Let no man judge you… in respect of the Sabbath days.” Col. 2:16
            The Epistles are silent as to which day Christians are to meet during this present age. Whether it be on Sunday or some other day is not even mentioned. But that we ARE to meet is clearly taught. (Heb. 10:25)
            Of course, Paul attended the synagogues on the Sabbath. That was when Jews and proselytes met there. Any other day the synagogue would have been empty.
            Matt: 24:20 is very interesting, however. Can’t say I’ve ever considered that verse before, but it is a question more for eschatology than ecclesiology, isn’t it?

          • Tony says:

            Anders:

            Good points, all. I would suggest that Matthew 24:20 isn’t about eschatology at all, but about the coming persecution of the Jews in AD 70. Jesus spoke to THEM about what THEY would see, and what THEY would experience. Jesus said that THEY would see Him coming on clouds. Thanks to modern interpretations, most seem to think Jesus will descend on a puff of water vapor. Looking through the Old Testament, however, shows that clouds are either 1) clouds, or 2) a symbol of God’s coming judgment. It seems to me that when Jesus said “you,” He meant those who were listening on that day, and when He said “coming on clouds,” He meant coming in judgment. That meshes with what happened in 70, when the Romans dismantled the temple and the Jews were dispersed.

  24. Bob Worthen says:

    Tony:
    Thank you for your reply. Yes, I have studied the Bible a lot from my youth. My late father used to say, “Robert, you read the Bible for yourself so you know what it says. That way, you have a base for discerning fact from fiction.” I agree with a lot of what you have said Tony, but I look at the Sabbath as being set apart by God for mankind from the very beginning and according to prophesy will be kept in the future. And although we may not have to “keep” the Seventh Day Sabbath to be in God’s Kingdom, I do my best to personally draw as close to God as I can. If you have a child and you tell the child to sit in a particular chair and that child refuses to do so, will you be happy with the child for refusing to obey you? I think not. Will you disown the child? Probably not. But, that is the way I look at the Seventh Day Sabbath and a number of other issues. It may not be a requirement to be a Christian but I believe it helps me to be a better Christian. Some people feel that being a Vegetarian helps them to be a better Christian… Personally, I think that us trying to keep the Seventh Day Sabbath may be more important to God than most realize. When Christ returns, we will all find out. Notice how all ten of the Virgins thought they were Christians and would be in God’s Kingdom but half did not “make the cut.” In the end we are not each other’s judges, God is.
    When you know the truth the truth sets you free from all of the lies and deceit. May God bless you in your continuing to seek the truth.

    • Tony says:

      I do appreciate a worthwhile, mature conversation. Thanks, Bob.

      With respect (and I mean that), what you’re saying doesn’t match what we both see in Scripture. Your analogy of a child and a chair seems apt at first, but it’s not… because God did not tell you to sit in that chair. You use the word “obey,” and obedience is great. The problem is that you’re butting into God’s agreement with someone else, then pretending that God’s instructions to them also apply to you, then pretending that you’re actually obeying those instructions. Clearly, this is simply a silly way to go about pleasing God.

      I don’t say that to be mean. You’re just not separating what you’ve been taught from what God has actually said. Let me encourage you to read Exodus 20 and Exodus 31 without your sabbatarian glasses. Read it as you would read any other text, and ask yourself about the context:

      1. Who is speaking?
      2. To whom are they speaking?
      3. What is the occasion? That is, why are they saying it?

      God is speaking to the Israelites, establishing His covenant with them. It would be silly for the Pharaoh to slip a spy into the camp, have them report what God said, and then claim to be obeying God by pretending to enter into His covenant with the Israelites. That’s exactly what you’re doing, Bob. You’re butting into a relationship between two other parties. I understand that you may have been taught that this is how things should be done, but it’s illogical, unscriptural, and unrealistic. Here’s why:

      • You’re not included in that covenant.
      • That covenant has been replaced by a new and better covenant.
      • You’re kidding yourself if you think you’re actually obeying God.

      Why would I say that you’re not obeying God? Simple: if you want to do what God says, you should do it God’s way. You’re not. The Law prohibits wringing water out of a cloth on the sabbath. Separating nuts from their shells is forbidden. You can’t pick the M&M’s out of trail mix on the sabbath, as that is sorting… a kind of work. You can’t brew tea on the sabbath. You can’t tie or untie your shoes. You can’t tear a piece of paper in two. You can’t kill a mosquito, you can’t measure and cut anything, you can’t light a candle, nor can you put it out. You can’t staple two things together. You can’t add hot water to a cup o’ noodles. You can’t even write anything down.

      That’s just for starters. God’s instructions also say that sabbath-breakers are to be killed. It’s time to get serious, Bob. If you claim to observe the seventh-day sabbath, you’re kidding yourself. If you claim to observe the sabbath but can’t admit you’re not following God’s instructions on HOW to observe the sabbath, you’ve been indoctrinated. You can’t logically claim that God wants you to do something that He never told you to do. You can’t claim to be obedient when you ignore the instructions… and it’s irresponsible to tell other people that they should do the same. Don’t be irresponsible, Bob.

      I’m not trying to get you to back away from God. The opposite is true. If you want to be close to God, do what God actually told you to do. Jesus said that if you love Him, you will obey Him. Your instructions are in the gospels, not in Exodus or Leviticus. If you pretend to obey the sabbath, who are you obeying?

  25. Anders says:

    Very interesting debate. From both sides. Many years ago I had a South African friend who belonged to the 7th Day Adventists. Terrific fellow and we got on very well. But he could never understand how I could not see what he felt was so clearly taught in the Scriptures about the Sabbath. As far as he was concerned, it was there in black and white. Plain as day. And I was somehow blind to it. I suspect Bob feels the same way as my friend. But you are making good, helpful points, Tony. I would only offer one small, a little off topic, suggestion. You close by saying a Christian’s “instructions are in the gospels.” I believe it would be more correct to say the church’s instructions are in the epistles. Specifically, Paul’s.

    • Tony says:

      Anders:

      It IS interesting, isn’t it? Bob lives in a place with many Adventists. I used to live there, and had many friends and co-workers who were Adventists. Honestly, most of them were better company than the folks in my own churches. I’ve written a bit about My Experiences with Seventh-Day Adventists.

      It IS interesting to me how so many claim that things are ‘just so simple’ but can’t show that things are that simple in the Scriptures. They know a few of the key verses, of course… but they usually seem unaware of the verses that provide more information that might alter their view. I grew up in a church that seemed pretty sure of what they believed. To be sure, they definitely preached the gospel… but on a number of side issues, they seemed content to ‘just believe’ rather than to stick with God’s Word. When I started doing my own homework, I gained a new appreciation for how difficult it can be to change someone’s mind on religious topics. We all have a tendency to defend what we believe. I’ve been dealing with that dynamic for a long, long time. Truthfully, most people just can’t handle the stress that comes from making sure their own beliefs are sound. I feel a great relief and satisfaction when someone actually does their homework and changes their mind.

      As for your suggestion, I see what you mean… but the epistles are explanations, and extensions, of what Jesus taught. The principles are in the gospels, and their application is explained in the epistles. That’s a simplification, of course… but not by much. The whole New Testament is good for that, as it’s Christianity and not Judaism. I guess I’m agreeing, but don’t want people to think that you’re downplaying Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I know you’re not, but they might misunderstand. Thanks!

  26. Bob Worthen says:

    Tony:
    Again, you make some excellent points. I still am drawn back to my original question. I’m going to ask and phrase it in a different way though. So, from my experience, at least 90% of the “Christian Churches” teach their people to obey 9 of the 10 Commandments. The first 4 Commandments given to the Israelites were how to honor and love God. The last 6 were on how to honor and love your fellow humans. Every Christian Church or group that I have studied teach following 9 of the 10 Commandments. Why not just ignore all of them?
    It’s like tithing. EVERY “Christian Church” that I have attended or studied teach tithing, yet that is part of the Old Covenant. It seems to me that just because something was part of the Old Covenant does not mean it is not part of the New Covenant. The overarching instructions given to us by Jesus Christ himself is to love God with all of our hearts and souls and to love our fellow humans as ourselves. That is my personal goal to be counted worthy to be in God’s Kingdom. “To whom much is given, much is required.”
    I John 3:21-22 “…we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we OBEY his commands and do what PLEASES him.” NIV
    I plan to continue to try my best to please God. I have found no perfect church. I do attend a church which is from my studies, the closest to my beliefs from my 50 plus years of Biblical studying and practicing God’s ways. I have endured many trials and yet I can not count all of my blessings. I despise Pagan Holidays like Christmas and Easter which are based in lies and deceit. Most churches teach Jesus Christ was murdered and died on a Friday and was raised on Sunday morning. Yet the prophesies say he would be in the grave 3 days and 3 nights. Do you know the answer to this “riddle?”
    Seems to me there is a LOT of false teaching going on in the vast majority of the churches. Looking forward you your response my friend:)

    • Tony says:

      Bob:

      With respect, your experience doesn’t reflect the reality of what’s going on in local churches. Yes, many do teach to obey the 10 Commandments. Some teach to obey 9 of them. Some don’t teach any of them at all. Perhaps you’re unaware of the almost-but-not-quite entirely unbiblical preaching and teaching in mainline Protestant churches. I don’t mean that they’re teaching things that are unbiblical. I mean that they’re not teaching the Bible at all. The number of churches that do, or don’t, teach particular things is largely irrelevant. The question is what the Bible says, not what people say.

      Of course, the above paragraph comes with a warning! I grew up in the Wesleyan tradition, and was taught a four-fold test for beliefs. One of those tests is whether my belief is historical… that is, whether I’m the only one to believe it, or whether Christians throughout Christian history have affirmed the same belief. It’s important to have some grasp on what other faithful men and women have believed. It’s also important to distinguish between historical trends and timeless principles. It can be difficult to separate what we currently believe from the culture around us.

      That said, your argument is illogical and ahistorical. For example: you say that every ‘Christian Church’ that you’ve attended teaches tithing. Clearly, your experience doesn’t reflect the reality, as over 70% of American pastors say that tithing is not a normative practice for Christians, but is only part of the old covenant. If you want to check your beliefs against popular opinion – something I wouldn’t necessarily recommend – then your experience is woefully inadequate.

      The only relevant question is what the Bible says. From Genesis to Revelation, it’s one narrative. You can’t leave any part of it out, and you must take it as it is, rather than as you hope it to be. Most people don’t actually study the Bible. They go to Bible studies and look at a handful of texts through the lens of their teacher or curriculum, but few actually study the Bible as a whole. As a result, their view of God and how He works and what He wants and what we should be doing is incomplete, foggy, and largely ineffective at turning converts into disciple-makers. Let me lay out the whole old covenant/new covenant process for you:

      1. God made a covenant with Israel. Nobody else was included.
      2. God promised a future new covenant with Israel and Judah.
      3. God delivered that new covenant to Israel and Judah. It began in the upper room at the last supper.
      4. As with the Mosaic covenant, the new covenant was for the children of Israel.
      5. Gentiles were then ‘grafted’ into the new covenant.

      It’s not that the old covenant kind of still applies, sort of, mostly. It’s that it has been replaced entirely. The old covenant was between God and the nation of Israel. The new covenant is between God and the nation of Israel as well… and then, as a result of Israel’s unbelief, we Gentiles were grafted into the new covenant. That’s how it works. People who think that the old and new covenants are somehow intermingled are engaging in syncretism… combining Judaism with Christianity. With all due respect to you and to me and to most of the people I’ve ever known in churches around the country, that’s a gigantic problem. The common ground between the ancient Israelites and Christianity is not any part of the old covenant, but faith in God’s promise to Abraham. We who live by faith are heirs to that promise. We are not, and have never been, children of Moses.

      I don’t know you well, Bob. I hope to, one day… whether on this earth or the new one. In the meantime, I have a recommendation. Test all things. Hold fast to what is true. Don’t follow the traditions of men. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Stop trying to mix the old with the new. The new covenant is not like the old. Some things overlap, of course… two separate and different covenants made with the same God will necessarily have similarities. It’s good to study the old covenant, but it’s better to study the new… because it’s an agreement between you and God that’s in force at this very moment.

      As for the ‘riddle,’ yes. I have the answer. It’s been well-known for around 2000 years. Jesus almost certainly died on a Friday and was raised on the following Sunday. You might not like the idea, and it might not make sense to you, but the most likely explanation is that you’re simply unaware of the answer. It’s very plain, and even a little boring. There’s no conspiracy involved… no satanic deception that explains the ‘discrepancy.’ There’s no discrepancy. If you’d like, I can explain it to you. I have virtually endless stamina for these kinds of discussions, my friend. As long as you’re willing to engage with me and to look boldly at the text, and to consider whether what you’ve been taught matches what the Bible actually says, we can do this forever.

      • Bob Worthen says:

        Tony: Sorry, but your answer is wrong. The 7 Holy Days God gave Israel were also known as Annual or High Sabbaths. In the year Christ died, the Annual Sabbath of the First Day of Unleavened Bread fell on a Thursday. Therefore, Jesus Christ died on the Wednesday before the Annual Sabbath, not the Weekly Sabbath. So, as the prophesies foretold Christ was in the grave 3 days and 3 nights. When the women came on Sunday Morning to prepare his body for final burial, an Angel met them at the entrance to the tomb. Christ had already been raised the afternoon before. The World including many of our “Christian” Churches are full of lies and deception. There are several churches that do teach the truth on this subject but the vast majority are deceived and don’t seem to care. When you know the truth, the truth will set you free from all of the lies and deceptions, even in the “Christian” Churches. The hardest thing for most people, especially it seems for preachers is to admit when they are wrong. Hopefully, you aren’t too proud to admit you can be wrong.

        • Tony says:

          Bob:

          It’s really easy to believe something and claim that everybody else has it wrong, is deceived, and is living in bondage to a lie. It’s another thing to back it up. Do you know who makes that kind of claim? In my experience, it’s always the ones who are out of step with both Scripture and history. The biblical understanding of “day” to the ancient Hebrew mind is not the same as ours. It can mean the day, or any part of the daylight hours, or a night and a day, or an extended (but not endless) period of time, and more. Throughout history, Christians have understood that Jesus was killed on Friday and rose again on Sunday. Here’s how the time was reckoned:

          Thursday night and Friday day: one day
          Friday night and Saturday day: two days
          Saturday night and Sunday day: three days

          We don’t need to revise our calendars to make sure that 72 hours can elapse between Jesus’ death and resurrection. Why don’t we? Because that’s us, trying to ‘fix’ what isn’t broken. The reason Christians have been basically unanimous on this issue is that they know how to count like the ancient Israelites. The reason some claim to know that Jesus died on another day is that they can’t count the right way. Do a bit of homework and look up the uses of “day” in Scripture to make sure you know what it says, and how it was used. Knowing the actual Hebrew definitions of the word is essential.

          The hardest thing isn’t to admit you’re wrong. The hardest thing is doing your homework. If you’re wrong, the homework will change your mind. If you’re right, the homework will reassure you about being right. So, I’m challenging you: do your homework. You won’t be sorry.

  27. Kathryn Dobozy says:

    Hey Tony, what is your take on Steven furtick?

  28. Jeane says:

    Actually, what are the keys to the Kingdom? AND, can you explain binding and loosing. Some people use binding and loosing to bind spirits, etc. Please explain

    • Tony says:

      Jeane:

      Thanks for asking!

      First, the keys. Surely, they’re not physical keys. Right? Keys lock and unlock things… so the keys to the Kingdom, using Jesus’ analogy, would be used to lock or unlock the Kingdom. Keep this in mind, because we’ll come back to it after looking at binding and loosing.

      There’s a lot of confusion about this binding and loosing, and a lot of opinions. One reason for the many opinions is that Jesus didn’t explain exactly what He meant, in terms we can easily understand today. Let’s look at Matthew 16:19 to see what happened. Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Here’s how Jesus responded:

      Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

      Now, there were plenty of times where Jesus said something that confused the disciples. He would explain again, to make sure they understood. Here’s a simple question: why didn’t Jesus explain what He meant? It seems that no explanation was needed, and that they knew what He meant. If that’s true, we should learn what binding and loosing meant to them, so it can mean the same to us. If we can understand what Jesus meant, we can lean on our knowledge, rather than wondering about conflicting opinions.

      Binding and loosing was a phrase that ancient Jews, and modern practicing Jews, would be familiar with. It has to do with producing an authoritative interpretation. Think about a judge, in court. He needs to know the law, right? However: applying the law is more difficult than just reading the law. Judges need to interpret the law for each case. Most of the time things are pretty straight-forward, and the law can be easily applied. Some situations, in contrast, require some wise judgment. This is the context of binding and loosing! Most of the time, Jewish law could be easily applied. Sometimes, there would be a dispute about how to apply the law in specific situations. When wise judgment was required, they turned to a POSEK. The word means “decisor.” This was a legal scholar who would know the law and settle disputes by applying the law to each situation. He was seen as an authority, and his decisions were generally understood to be the equivalent of the law itself. A wise POSEK would ‘bind’ what the law already bound, and ‘loose’ what the law already loosed. Their judgment should never be contrary to the law, but a further explanation of how the law was to be applied.

      Now, back to Simon Peter. Jesus said He would give him the keys to the Kingdom, and that he would bind and loose. A lot of people read this in English, thinking with their 21-century mind, and assume that Jesus was giving Peter the authority to make spiritual decisions on his own. That doesn’t fit the context. First, a POSEK applied the existing law. He didn’t make things up… he judged by what God had already established. Second, if we look at the Greek words that Jesus used, we see something interesting.

      Some Bibles, like the NIV above, have Jesus saying that whatever Peter bound on earth will be bound in Heaven. That’s not quite it. When we look at the Greek, the translation is more precisely shall have been bound. It’s the verb ESTAI. This verb is in the ‘middle voice.’ That means that the subject is both an agent of an action, and is involved in the action. Peter would be involved, but the activity of binding and loosing would not be Peter’s. That activity would come from Heaven… that is, from what had already been decided. Remember that a POSEK only applied existing law to specific situations in order to settle a dispute about the law. When binding and loosing, Peter – being wise – would not invent new ideas, but only reflect the decisions God had already made.

      It’s helpful to see an example. Where can we read about a dispute where Peter spoke authoritatively about how to apply the principles He had learned from Jesus? The first that comes to mind is in Acts 15 and, not surprisingly, it’s exactly what Jesus described:

      Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.

      Here we have our dispute. Paul and Barnabas (and others) came to Jerusalem to have this dispute settled by someone who 1) knew what Jesus taught, and 2) would be able to apply those teachings to their specific situation.

      The apostles and elders met to consider this question. After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

      Wow! Here we see binding and loosing in action. Peter is the POSEK, wisely applying what Jesus had already said. The keys to the Kingdom are the knowledge of Jesus’ words and intentions. With those keys, Peter was able to judge wisely and settle disputes so that the Kingdom was open to all. This binding and loosing wasn’t unique to Peter, either. At Pentecost, Peter ‘opened the door’ to the Jews by preaching the gospel to them. Philip opened the door in Acts 8 for the Ethiopian eunuch. Peter opened the door in Acts 10 for Cornelius and his household. In Acts 15 (the passage above), Peter was the primary speaker… but the council in Jerusalem included others – apostles and elders like James, who also spoke in judgment.

      These men didn’t make decisions that Heaven would follow. The decisions had already been made in Heaven. Because of their knowledge of the gospel, they were able to apply the keys to the Kingdom to settle disputes. Their authority didn’t come from having a special personality, or from being specially gifted in ways that you and I aren’t. Their authority came from knowing God’s Word, and understanding how Jesus’ teaching should be lived. I don’t want to overstep, but I would suggest that anyone who understands the gospel might be in the same position of settling disputes by helping others apply the truths of the gospel in their own situations.

      Does that make sense?

  29. Anders says:

    What about Myles Munroe? Died some years ago, but his sermons are on Youtube and he published several books. A quick surf linked him with the prosperity preachers. A friend of mine, who seems quite biblically sound, recommends him.

    • Tony says:

      An article on the false teaching of Myles Munroe is in the works, Anders. He was definitely Word of Faith and taught a number of significantly unbiblical ideas.

      • Anders says:

        hi Tony
        What I’m wondering specifically is, does Munroe teach that Christ literally dwells in the believer’s heart? (Eph.3.17) That is to say, the physical organ that pumps blood throughout the body? My friends have this idea that the heart is bacteria free, whereas the brain is not. Consequently, they are opposed to the study of theology, since it is a exercise of the brain, not of the heart. I try to explain to them that the word “heart” in this connection is not an organ but rather the “inner man” — the will, emotions and intellect of a man. One of them mentioned in passing that he enjoys listening to Munroe on Youtube so I am guessing the idea comes from him. But if not Munroe, maybe you know where this idea that Christ literally indwells a believer’s flesh and blood heart comes from. One may say that this is too weird to take seriously, but I like these friends. They are very dedicated and sincere followers of Christ and I want to be able to help them..

        • Tony says:

          Anders:

          Without listening to all of his sermons, I can’t know whether Munroe claimed that Jesus literally dwells in the believer’s heart. I see nothing related to that online. Of course, the idea itself is nonsense. Jesus went to Heaven, and the Holy Spirit came to us… it is HE who dwells in believer’s hearts, not Jesus. Of course, we don’t know exactly how that works. We can only claim what the New Testament says about it.

          The idea that our hearts have no bacteria is stupid. Our bodies are full of bacteria all the time, both helpful and not. You’re right that the biblical understanding of ‘heart’ is not the physical organ, but the whole of a person… what makes them “them.” As for the brain, I doubt Munroe said that. I found a book that he plugged that talks about the power of the brain, and it sounds like he was all about telling people (in a corporate setting, not necessarily in church) to use their brains well.

          It IS too weird to take seriously. I’ll give you a small, helpful bit of advice: ask questions. You want to help your friends, and it’s not likely they’ll change their minds in a simple discussion. They need to see the evidence for themselves. The evidence they already have has convinced them… that is, they trust whoever sold them that silly idea, and they feel they know something you’re ignorant about. A good way to help people change their minds is to ask them to provide you with the same evidence they’ve seen, so you can be convinced as well.

          I do this all the time on GodWords. When someone presents a stupid idea, I just ask: where did you learn this? If it’s true, I want to know it too. I know you would never ask me to just take your word for it, but I’m willing to examine the evidence. Please show me.

          Most people won’t do it. The few who will find one of two outcomes:

          1. They’re unwilling to give up the beliefs they like, in spite of the evidence, or
          2. They abandon their dumb idea in favor of a better one.

          Nobody can predict which they’ll do. I’m praying that they will see that their faith, in this case, is misplaced. If you would, please let us know how it goes!

  30. Fred says:

    Hi Tony!
    Took your advice and created new content for my website:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulZNWooi8Zs
    What do you think?

  31. Julie says:

    what can you tell me about Kristi McClelland who wrote the women’s study “Jesus and Women”? I never heard of her until a friend said the women’s group would be using her book as their next text.

    • Tony says:

      Julie:

      I don’t know about Kristi McLelland. I see nothing online that would worry me. She went to Dallas Theological Seminary. That doesn’t mean she’s not a false teacher, but DTS is a good school. You’re wise to ask whether the people you’re hearing are biblically-sound teachers, of course. If you hear anything that seems off-base, we can talk about it.

      Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

  32. Kathy Guthrie says:

    It’s scary to think the ones you have trusted to teach God’s word may not be what they seem. You have Joyce Meyers on the list and I am curious to know where she has failed ? Thank you

    • Tony says:

      Kathy:

      Thanks for asking. Joyce Meyer is well-known for being a Word of Faith teacher. This is a very popular collection of unbiblical ideas. When I have a bit more time (in the very near future), I’ll write an article outlining some of the false things she has taught. As always, I have nothing against Joyce Meyer… only against false teaching. I’ll mention two small things here, to get you started:

      1. SIN: In explaining how to be saved, Meyer’s website says that we make mistakes, and that the Bible calls those mistakes “sin.” This is false. Sin is willful rebellion, not a mistake. Further, she says that even one sin prevents us from having a relationship with God. This is also false. If it were true, every sin would destroy our relationship with God and we’d have to start over. Word of Faith teachers are often unclear or unbiblical on the topic of sin, and this is of some concern.
      2. FAITH: Meyer affirms the most basic Word of Faith doctrine, that spoken words change reality. She says that God exercises faith, which is nonsense. She teaches that the physical healing of believers is guaranteed, and that financial prosperity is guaranteed as well. Word of Faith teachers virtually always affirm these doctrines as well, and none are biblical.

      I would NOT ask you to take my word for it, of course. You should double-check what I write as carefully as you should double-check what everyone else teaches. I would recommend that you begin by simply searching the web for what the Word of Faith movement is, what most of them teach, and then look up the Scriptures in context. When I write an article, it will have exact quotes from Meyer to show that her false teaching is not an opinion, but a fact that we can know by searching the Scriptures.

      Until then, let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

    • Bob Worthen says:

      Kathy:
      It is amazing to me how many people justify not doing what the Bible says to do. I Corinthians 14:34 clearly says that women should not speak in church. How can it get any simpler? God says to do something or not to do something and human beings generally do the opposite, time and again. The wanton rebelliousness of the vast majority of people to God is all around us. God says there are differences between man and women. When you read the Bible for yourself and understand it, you have a base to start being able to separate fact from fiction.

      • Tony says:

        Bob:

        With respect, it seems your comment to Kathy goes a bit too far. I’m going to use some of your words against you here, if you don’t mind:

        When you read the Bible for yourself and understand it, you will be able to disagree with people, and even correct their theological errors, with grace and humility and winsomeness.

        I understand your frustration over the seeming blindness – and obvious ignorance – of so many. That’s what I deal with every day on this website. However: we should be careful to exhibit godly character anyway. If you only want to win an argument, this isn’t the place to do it. If you want to win Kathy over to your way of thinking, that’s honorable… but you’re certainly going about it the wrong way.

        – – – – – – –

        Besides all that, sincere born-again believers have disagreed about women in ministry since just about forever. The fact that YOU agree with those who interpret specific verses that way is no indication that everyone else is in error and living in willful rebellion. I could be wrong, but don’t believe you’re prepared to back up your beliefs in this area. For example: you cite 1 Corinthians 14:34. You think it’s simple because you focus on the first part: Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission. That’s 100% Scripture. I’ll bet you have no idea about the next part: as the law says.

        What law is that, Bob?

        Maybe it’s not as simple as you think it is. Before you run around the interwebs condemning people for believing something that millions of born-again believers have struggled with for 2000 years, maybe you should do your homework first. That way, you’ll better understand the reasons that some believe as they do, even if you continue to disagree.

        • Bob Worthen says:

          Tony:
          First of all, I condemn NO ONE! We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.
          Secondly, Because I know my sins and I don’t know any or many of yours or anyone else’s, I think of others as better than myself as the scripture says to do. But, as a Christian that does not “let me off the hook” in trying to help people see and understand things that they do not. You do the same exact thing by pointing out to people other preachers that you believe are mis-leading people and why.
          Thirdly, there are two overarching laws we are to obey as Christians to the best of our ability. Love God and Love each other. That is the theme throughout the Bible. The first 4 of the 10 commandments given to ancient Israel were about how they were to love God and the last 6 of the 10 commandments were about how to love your neighbor.
          Seriously, I don’t see you as a rival or competitor. I see you as someone who is trying to do what is right in being a Christian. Maybe, just maybe we can help each other be better Christians:) In my humble opinion, that is what God wants us to do.
          May God have mercy on and bless us all!

          • Tony says:

            Bob:

            First, you seem a bit defensive.
            Second, you seem a bit accusatory.
            Third, I’m glad you’re willing to continue the conversation.

            Nobody said you had condemned anyone. I said that your comment seemed to go a bit too far. That’s a matter of opinion. It’s still my opinion, but I get the fact that mere typed words don’t communicate very clearly.

            What do you think of the idea that sincere, well-educated believers may differ on how we should understand 1 Corinthians 14:34?

        • Anders says:

          hi Tony,
          I’m following your discussion with Bob about women in the church because it is an issue in our church just now. Your remarks that women’s role in the church is “something that millions of born-again believers have struggled with for 2000 years,” and that “sincere born-again believers have disagreed about women in ministry since just about forever,” has given me pause. The issue isn’t really that old, is it? I suppose there may have been times when it has come up before the 1950’s and 60’s, but it was not till then that it really got going. So for 1900 years it was accepted by virtually all Christians that churches were led by men. I guess you can tell that I have the same conservative view as Bob on this matter. Women often make excellent leaders in the world, and in many situations, including leading youth groups and women’s groups, in the church. But when it comes to having authority over Christian men, Scripture is pretty plain. I’m thinking, of course, of 1 Tim. 2.11,12, and 1 Cor. 14.34f. Exceptional circumstances there may be, but the “commandment” (1 Cor.14.37) is clear.

          • Tony says:

            Anders:

            You ask good questions!

            Yes, the issue is that old. The only reason Paul wrote those words is because it was an issue, right? If everybody understood what God wanted, and agreed to do things His way, there would be no reference to the problems in the New Testament. Let’s look (very) briefly at the passages in question. My goal is not to convince you to think as I do, but to search the Scriptures carefully before drawing conclusions. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 is first:

            Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

            This seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. It would probably be a good idea to learn what “law” Paul was talking about. Do you know this law? And are you really suggesting that the ladies in your church should remain silent from the time they enter until the time they leave? Paul did write that women should remain silent in the churches… if that’s a universal instruction, it would apply to all women in all churches today. Right?

            1 Timothy 2:11-12 is next:

            A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.

            Paul did not permit a woman to teach. He wrote this to Timothy, presumably so Timothy could follow his example. I think we should take this verse seriously, as with all Scripture… but we need to establish the context to properly understand it. The question is whether Paul’s words are proscriptive or prescriptive. A proscriptive instruction is universal, while a prescriptive is personal – like a prescription for medicine. There seems to be little question about the cultures of Corinth and Ephesus, and the role of women in pagan worship. I’m of the opinion that many of the sex-specific instructions in the New Testament are prescriptive, to deal with specific problems in specific places.

            Both views deserve careful consideration. When we seek to understand any verse of Scripture, context is the key… and we shouldn’t limit our exploration of the context to just a verse or two. We have to take into account 1) who was writing, 2) to whom they were writing, 3) the occasion for writing, and 4) the history behind the occasion. To wrap up (before this goes too long), we do see places in Scripture where women had religious authority over men. Deborah is an obvious example, as are Huldah and Anna and others. If God didn’t want women to lead men, these women would not be commended in Scripture, but condemned.

            Your thoughts?

  33. Jules says:

    Thank you so very much for this list! I check it often and I use it as a resource to help me as I am still too new of a Christian to always be able to discern for myself about false teachers! My question is how often do you update this list (I noticed Furnick isn’t on it but you do have an article about him being a false teacher) and also if there’s a way to engage with you directly with questions. For example what advice would you give to someone about these false teachers – never listen to anything they say? Or listen with discernment? Things like that I would love to ask you!

    • Tony says:

      Jules:

      First, I really appreciate your encouragement! You’re very kind. Second, kudos to you! In my experience, very few Christians display the kind of wisdom I see in your questions.

      The list is, for me, a starting point. There are a LOT more people who should be on the list, and will be in the near future. In fact, there are a whole bunch of them who will never make it to the list… simply because there are too many false teachers. That’s a shame, but I do feel some responsibility to help others compare what the Bible says with what they’re being taught. In case anyone was wondering, yes: I do hold myself to the same standard. Nobody should take my word as gospel, but be like the Bereans who double-checked the apostle Paul.

      The list was originally created because my pastor asked what I knew about the New Apostolic Reformation. That article is essentially my email to him. Most of the false teachers on the list are there because I found them among the NAR’s prominent leaders. As people find the list, they often ask about someone who’s not on the list. Right now I’m gathering details about a number of false teachers, and will compile them into new articles. I’ve added Steven Furtick to the list, by the way… thanks for catching that!

      You can engage with me directly by commenting here or by emailing me or even by going to my personal Facebook page. Email is best for personal messages. I work to respond to every email, so there can be some delay at times, but I’ll always respond.

      Your last question is a good one! Should we listen to these false teachers at all? Should we listen with discernment? How I wish more people would consider this issue. I’ll share my personal opinion with you.

      Counterfeits

      A counterfeit is something that looks real, but isn’t. Counterfeit money is a big problem and, in the US, the Secret Service investigates counterfeiting crimes. While there are lots of ways to spot counterfeit money, their first step in identifying a fraud isn’t to study all of the frauds. They study the real thing first. They know all of the details about American money, to the tiniest bits. They know what it’s made of, how it’s printed, how it feels, how it smells, and they know all about the security features built into each bill. When they see a counterfeit, they know it immediately… not because they’ve seen that exact fake before, but because they’re intimately familiar with the original.

      That’s the kind of discernment that Christians need. We should work to be so familiar with the true gospel that we can immediately spot a false one. I spent decades studying the false beliefs of Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-Day-Adventists, and others. I learned what false teachers like Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn taught. I had books and articles and notes galore. What was I missing? I had, to some extent, skipped the first step. I needed to be more intimately familiar with the real gospel.

      This isn’t a new problem, of course. Paul wrote to the Christians in Galatia that they had been ‘bewitched’ by false teachers, and had mixed the true gospel with some lies. Here’s some of what he said:

      I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!

      That’s serious stuff! We see the same thing in other books, like Colossians. They were divided over doctrinal issues, and Paul had to make sure they knew the gospel… it’s there in the first chapter. The whole rest of the book is about sticking to the true gospel. In Titus, some people were causing problems by teaching what they shouldn’t teach. What did Paul tell young pastor Titus to do? They must be silenced… rebuke them sharply.

      Should we listen to false teachers? I don’t believe we should. In the New Testament, pastors were told to silence them when they appeared in their churches. Most false teachers today have their own churches, or no church at all… so they’re not under the authority of someone who can correct them. As a result, individual Christians must discipline ourselves with regard to the truth. We should “silence” them for ourselves by not listening to them. There are plenty of good teachers out there to learn from. We don’t need anything from those who teach falsely.

      What will we miss by not listening to (for example) Steven Furtick? We will miss the unique things that Steven Furtick says. The truth is, there’s only ONE GOSPEL… so we who teach the gospel will not be teaching unique things, but the same things as every other faithful teacher since Jesus died and rose again. We don’t need a new message. We need the same old same old same old message again and again.

      I’ve written many times that false teachers can say true things. I’ve also said that I enjoy the teaching of some of these false teachers. However: I don’t go to them to learn about the truth. I already know the truth, because I’ve spent a lot of time and energy examining the real thing: the true gospel… the one gospel handed down from the beginning. We can all learn this same gospel by reading the Bible, and we should. The only reason so many false teachers lead so many astray is that their audience is ignorant of the truth. The only reason this website gets literally millions of visitors, and the reason so many write to me, is that they are also ignorant of the truth. There’s nothing special about what I write here, Jules. Anybody can do the same, if they simply learn what God has already said. We don’t need false teachers. I would avoid them entirely.

      Does that make sense? I’m here for you, sister. My whole purpose in writing and teaching online for the past 20+ years is to help people like you learn what God has said, and learn how God wants to use you for His Kingdom. I will help you in any way I can… and I hope you’ll take full advantage.

      Have a great day!

      • Jules says:

        Tony, Thank you SO VERY MUCH for your response! It was so thorough and answered questions I hadn’t even realized I had! This paragraph in particular really was of SUCH value to me:
        “What will we miss by not listening to (for example) Steven Furtick? We will miss the unique things that Steven Furtick says. The truth is, there’s only ONE GOSPEL… so we who teach the gospel will not be teaching unique things, but the same things as every other faithful teacher since Jesus died and rose again. We don’t need a new message. We need the same old same old same old message again and again.”
        I also absolutely loved your explanation of counterfeits!

        How about people like Nicky Gumbel or Derek Prince?

        Also, would you advise that if someone is not on your list but in their material they reference quotes by people on your list, I would imagine that because they are choosing to associate with some false teachers that they should also be avoided, correct?

        Thank you so much for your time and considered replies! This is the only list of false teachers I’ve been able to find and am thrilled to have it as such a helpful resource!
        Jules

        • Tony says:

          Jules:

          I’m very pleased to hear that our conversation has been helpful! I’ve written you about Nicky Gumbel. Derek Prince is one of the founders of the “Shepherding Movement” that caused to much trouble in the 1990s, and – in spite of his impressive resume – is not someone I would trust. There was a lot of abuse in the Shepherding Movement, and Prince bears a lot of responsibility. The basic idea was that each Christian needed a shepherd, and they were to obey that shepherd without question, ‘as a slave,’ and they didn’t need to know the reasons for what they were doing. Much of what Prince taught was obviously good, but the disaster that he started will always rule him out for me.

          Have a great day!

  34. Anders says:

    Tony,
    I agree, of course, that we need to consider the whole Bible, not just a few specific verses. I intend to search the Scriptures on this issue and I believe you are doing the same. I just read about the poet Sylvia Plath who took her life at the age of 31. Some believe that her depression was caused by discontent with a woman’s inferior place. That is a thought I intend to pursue. Does the Bible actually teach that women are inferior to men? Is that how most readers interpret Paul’s commands to the churches in 1 Tim. 2 and 1 Cor. 14 ?

    • Tony says:

      Anders:

      I’m happy to hear that you’re embarking on a new research project! That’s the only reason GodWords exists… someone will say something, or ask me a question, and I’ll think, “I don’t know enough about that, so I’ll do some digging.” Then, because I figure other people might want to know the same thing, I publish my research as an article. Just yesterday I answered a question about Jesus giving the keys to the Kingdom to Peter, and about binding and loosing. Then I published it, since it seemed complete enough to at least begin new conversations about it.

      Maybe you should be a blogger!

      No, the Bible does NOT teach that women are in any way inferior to men. On the contrary: women around the world have been lifted up by what Jesus taught. He included women in His ministry, taught women with men when others would not, and so on. Paul’s words in 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians have been taken by a few to mean that women are somehow lesser, or not used by God in church leadership, but a quick analysis of his writings show that women played a very significant role in the life of the early church. Just reading the beginning and end of each of his letters, where he mentions people by name, tells us that women were considered a vital part of early Christianity.

      You might wander over to Does God Use Women in Ministry? and see what you think. It’s not very thorough, but it’s at least a conversation-starter.

      For the record, there are two main positions on the subject.

      • Complementarian: the idea that men and women have been given different ministry roles by God, including the idea that women should never teach men.
      • Egalitarian: the idea that there are no differences in how God uses men and women in ministry.

      I lean in the egalitarian direction. I attend a church that doesn’t. I’m familiar with both positions, but find the complementarian position may assume too much about God’s methods. I’d like to know what you think, so please feel free to leave a comment over there!

  35. Mary N says:

    Hi Tony
    Do you have any opinion regarding Jonathan Cahn, author of The Harbinger?

    • Tony says:

      Mary:

      No, I don’t. I think I read that book a while back, but can’t remember anything about it. Do you have opinions to share about Jonathan Cahn, or questions about something he’s said?

  36. Neelam William says:

    Respected sir,We are in this world by the grace of God and by His mercies only.If God counts our faults everyday we would have been consumed by His wrath.Our God is slow to anger but his love endures forever . God deals with us by His never ending love mercies and grace . If we show His wrath to this world , people will run away from God. But we can bring many souls in to His kingdom by demonstrating His love, His grace and His mercies . So these are not false teachers, world need more love , more grace and more mercies to sustain in this world.

    • Tony says:

      Neelam William:

      I appreciate your words! It’s true that God is gracious, and merciful, and slow to anger. We learn that by reading the Bible.

      We also learn, by reading the Bible, about false teachers. We learn how to identify them, we learn what they do, and we learn how we are to respond to them. I would not want to overstep, to be sure… but I would also not want to fail in my duties and see others remain lost when they could be saved. The Bible is clear that there ARE false teachers, and there ARE wolves among the sheep, and they are not to be tolerated. Indeed, even our brothers and sisters who are simply in error are to be corrected strongly.

      Read Titus 1:10-16 and you will see what I mean. Paul tells Titus that they must be silenced and that he should rebuke them sharply… but not without reason. It is so that they will be sound in the faith.

      It is for this reason – and others, all from Scripture – that I offer this information. My goal is not condemnation of any person, but critical analysis of their words, comparing them with the clear teaching found in Scripture… the gospel, handed down from the beginning.

      Would you have me do otherwise?

  37. gordon claxton says:

    If someone receives Jesus at the church or meeting of one of these or other “false teachers” are they saved or doomed?

    • Tony says:

      Gordon:

      Thanks for asking. This is a very important subject!

      Of course, by “receives Jesus” we should mean being born again, which Jesus talked to Nicodemus about in John 3.

      I lived this question many years ago. My father was saved at a neighborhood Bible study led by a local pastor. Later, that pastor and his wife were convicted of sexually molesting their own child for 25 years. My father, having grown up Catholic and not being acquainted with Scripture, was very concerned… about whether he was really saved, whether he had been misled about salvation, and even whether his own salvation was somehow invalidated by the sins of this man.

      Our salvation has little – almost nothing – to do with any other person. If someone receives Jesus, they have received Jesus… it doesn’t matter how or where. Our only actual involvement comes when we pray for them, when we witness (testify) to what God has done for us, or when we explain the gospel to someone. We do not save anyone, of course.

      Were Steven Furtick to say that you can be saved by trusting God with your life, the Holy Spirit could do His thing… that is, He can convict us of sin and lead us to surrender our will to God’s will. We can be saved because Furtick has told the truth about how to be saved. Were Steven Furtick to say that you can be saved by only eating plain yogurt on Wednesdays, the Holy Spirit could do His thing anyway… that is, He could still convict us of sin and lead us to surrender our will to God’s will. We can be saved because of what Furtick says, or in spite of it.

      Of course, everyone – including Steven Furtick – should only teach what the Bible teaches. Where the Bible speaks, we should speak. Where the Bible is silent, we should be silent. Sound biblical teaching makes it easier for people to trust God, and bad, unbiblical teaching makes it harder. While someone can be saved while listening to a false teacher – and for that, we should rejoice – we should not then ignore false teaching. I’m sure you would agree.

  38. Paul says:

    I was given a book “You’ve Already Got It” by Andrew Wommack. I read it and found myself stopping on several occasions and questioning whether or not I should continue. So here I am. Is Andrew Wommack’s doctrine sound or should I just move on?

    • Tony says:

      Paul:

      You’re wise to ask. Andrew Wommack teaches the Word of Faith heresy, which says that you and I have the power to change reality with our words. By teaching these things, WoF folks demote God and elevate humans, all but erasing the differences between Creator and created. I can say without hesitation that Andrew Wommack is a false teacher, and should be avoided. I recommend destroying that book, rather than passing it on… we wouldn’t want someone who is less discerning to pick it up and be misled by it. I would also encourage you to spend some time praying for Wommack, and for those who listen to him.

      I’ll be writing a full article on Wommack’s false teachings soon. Have a great day!

  39. Jesse says:

    Tony,
    I’m curious on your take re: Ken Ham. BTW, I really appreciate your spirit in your responses!

    • Tony says:

      Jesse:

      Thanks for asking. Ken Ham is, as far as I can tell, a biblically-orthodox Jesus follower. While he and I might disagree on certain specifics about what Christians SHOULD believe, I have no doubt that we would agree on what Christians MUST believe. His focus is on the young-earth creation model for understanding the first part of Genesis. Personally, I think there’s nothing wrong with defending, or promoting, a specific interpretation of a passage of Scripture. However: I do believe – quite strongly – that such things should be a lower priority than preaching the gospel and teaching the whole of Scripture.

  40. Kia says:

    Hi Tony
    Reading your work as I found you today has been very interesting and I appreciate that you say to even question things that you say and welcome being corrected and not trying to be above anyone else. I have always questioned whats the right way to follow and who to avoid even if nice in person. I don’t want to be taught wrong because then I will teach it. My question is who are some teachers that teach true biblical text and which bibles are most true that they use because that matters a great deal to me.

  41. Kia says:

    I would also like to piggy back on the sabbath comment. You say that God made the covenant with nation of isreal and doesn’t involve us but isn’t God speaking to us because we the children of our father’s father’s which will date back to back then too. Are we not offspring of them? I don’t know this why I am asking because our lineage started from somewhere and I want to know what tribe we come from being followers of Christ and following God’s commandments. What sets us apart from not being one of the other far as being Israelites and gentiles and etc .. I am learning and never had one with knowledge of like that to teach me, to even feel ok with asking these questions and believing them.

    Thank you for your insight it’s much appreciated.

    • Tony says:

      Kia:

      We’re all descendants of Adam and Eve. Moving forward in time, we’re also all descendants of someone on the ark… but that’s no fewer than six family lines. The question of whose children we are does matter.

      The covenant God made with the ancient Israelites never included anybody but them, and people who chose to live with them in the promised land. There were a whole bunch of people in the world that weren’t included… I mean, literally, everybody else. If your ancestors were Egyptian, you weren’t included. Phoenicians weren’t included. Moabites weren’t included. Ethiopians weren’t included. The nation of Israel, genealogically speaking, are the descendants of just one man: Israel, formerly known as Jacob. Jacob had 12 sons, you know… the ones who were themselves the heads of the twelve tribes (of Israel).

      If you weren’t one of Jacob’s descendants, or if you didn’t choose to live in ancient Israel with Jacob’s descendants, you weren’t included in the old covenant. Fortunately, God made a new covenant with everybody. It superseded the old covenant, is far better than the old covenant, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. =)

      You should feel free to ask ANY question. I can’t promise I’ll have the answer, but I promise I’ll work hard to never steer you wrong. Have a great day!

      • Kia says:

        Thankyou so much for getting back to me. I’ve been waiting and appreciate the responses in both messages:) you learn something every day…

  42. thomas pippin says:

    is tim sheets a false teacher ? his book on angels.soundsmystical

    • Tony says:

      Thomas:

      It appears that Tim Sheets is following in the footsteps of Dutch Sheets… who is definitely a false teacher. Dutch is part of the New Apostolic Reformation, a proponent of the Latter Rain movement, and more. Tim’s website and church website both use the same kind of troublesome language used by false teachers in the NAR and in the Word of Faith movement. I would avoid anyone, to be honest, who calls themselves an apostle.

  43. Toni says:

    Is Joseph Prince a false Prophet? If so, what does he say that is incorrect in his teaching?

    • Tony says:

      Toni:

      I don’t know about any of Joseph Prince’s prophecies. If you can lead me to one, we can assess whether it came true or not… that’s the biblical test of a prophet. As far as his teaching goes, he’s a mix of good and bad. I’ve begun a list of unbiblical things he teaches, and you can find it here: The False Teaching of Joseph Prince.

      As always, it seems wise to recognize that no teacher teaches falsely all the time. Joseph Prince says many things that are true. That’s not a problem. The problems are, of course, the things he says that don’t match what we see in Scripture. Because there are plenty of teachers who teach what the Bible teaches, it seems equally wise to spend time listening to them, rather than listening to a mix of truth and error and having to wonder which is which. Let me know if you have any questions.

      Tony =)

  44. Tatiana says:

    Hi, what is a reformed christian? Also, are Paul Washer, Voddie Baucham and Justin Peters cool people to listen to?

    • Tony says:

      Tatiana:

      I have no problems with what I’ve heard from Paul Washer, Voddie Baucham, or Justin Peters. I’ve appreciated what I’ve heard, and would recommend them to you.

      A “Reformed” Christian is a Christian whose understanding of the Bible matches closely those of two important church leaders during the Protestant Reformation: Huldrych Zwingli and John Calvin. They’re often called “Calvinists” because John Calvin is better-known, and “Zwinglians” is hard to spell. LOL

      I have some biblical disagreements with Zwingli and Calvin, but Reformed theology is generally considered biblically sound. Some who are not Reformed would disagree, but some Reformed folks would claim that those people aren’t right, either… so it’s important to take each belief separately and compare it with Scripture, rather than take them as a group. Taking sides for or against Reformed theology is kind of silly that way.

      Here’s where I stand: labels like “Reformed” or “Charismatic” or “Wesleyan” or “Lutheran” or whatever may be useful in certain situations, but I would avoid them at all costs. Why? It’s very simple: I don’t follow John Calvin, I follow Jesus. I don’t follow John Wesley, I follow Jesus. It’s that simple. Where John Calvin’s ideas seem to match the Bible as I understand it, we would agree. Where Martin Luther’s ideas seem to match the Bible as I understand it, we would agree. Adding their name to “Tony, Follower of Jesus” seems dumb at best and counter-productive at worst. I’m not against those labels, but most people don’t understand them… and then end up attacking or defending each other over theology they often don’t understand.

      Make sense?

  45. Anders says:

    hi Tony
    My denomination has started promoting the teachings and writings of Pete Greig. I know he founded 24/7 prayer movement, works closely with Nicki Gumbel and pastors a church in Guildford, England. I’ve seen him on Youtube and it’s easy to see why he is a popular speaker. What do you know about his theology? Thanks.

    • Tony says:

      Anders:

      I’ve taught the Alpha course, so I’m passingly familiar with Gumbel. It appears Greig worked with him as the prayer leader for Alpha. While I do have some small complaints about the program, in no sense would I consider them false, or even unorthodox. After going to Greig’s church website, I see this:

      As a mainstream, orthodox Christian church, our beliefs are determined by the Bible and expressed in the Nicene Creed. All Christian traditions – Catholic, Orthodox and Free Church – have agreed upon this statement of faith since 325AD.

      Without taking the time to listen to seventy-eleven sermons, I wouldn’t worry about them. The above quote is a very good sign. I have yet to see a single false teacher who would put that on their website, in spite of the fact that it’s a good rule of thumb for orthodoxy. If you run across anything that concerns you, let me know. Have a great day, my friend!

  46. Robin says:

    I have a friend who told me the Moody Commentary was false teaching. Do you have an opinion on that study tool?

    • Tony says:

      Robin:

      Thanks for asking! I haven’t used that particular study tool, but Moody is far from false teaching. While one might (or might not) disagree with that organization on small details, they are biblically orthodox. The complaints I’ve seen are all nutty, angry rants from people whose theology I have serious reservations about… and those rants often do little more than reprint lies about people and books to make their point. I wouldn’t worry about Moody for a moment.

      Remember, though: be like the Bereans! They checked everything they heard from the apostle Paul against what was in the Scriptures… and Paul commended them for it. That’s the standard here at GodWords, and we would all do well to follow their example. Have a great day!

    • Tony says:

      One more thing, Robin. I would try to have a conversation with your friend about this. If you’re up for it, take actual notes on their complaints. Ask for evidence. Tell them you take such claims seriously (as we should), and that you want to work with them to get to the bottom of the situation. It could be that your friend is only repeating bad information, and needs to know that they should do their homework. You could be instrumental in helping them grow. Let me know if I can help.

  47. Loren Sanders says:

    You list TPT – The Passion Bible as being…untrustworthy, at least in part because it was “Not translated by a qualified team, but paraphrased by one person, Brian Simmons”

    I was unaware of this so-called translation, but seeing it listed here and defined as you have, I wonder that you don’t include “The Message” in the same list. I’ll grant that I no longer hear about it from folks, as much as I did 15-ish years ago, but it is still out there influencing people. I saw it go from being called “The Message: A Paraphrase” to “The Message Bible” to simply being referred to as “a” Bible over a handful of years, by those who read it, Christian publications, and the author himself.

    Might I suggest an update to your list?

    • Tony says:

      Loren:

      Thanks for weighing in. There’s a big difference between The Passion and The Message. While both are largely the work of one person, I wouldn’t necessarily consider Eugene Peterson to be a false teacher. I would consider Brian Simmons to be one. While I might disagree with many of the choices Peterson made, I’m not aware of anything in The Message that’s actually heretical. Years ago, people had the same problems with the Living Bible. One man translated it, apparently to produce a New Testament that his children would understand… but that man did a pretty good job of it. Simmons produced the Passion Translation to promote false doctrine, which puts it in a different category.

  48. Roberta says:

    You recommend Tony Evans as someone that is OK. Is this man Pricilla Shirer’s father

  49. Shauna Swanson says:

    I really am interested in eschatology so I listen to a lot of Jimmy Evans teaching. Do you recommend him? Also, do you have an opinion on Kent Christmas or Hank Kunneman? They call themselves prophets but, my discernment is telling me otherwise. Thanks!

    • Tony says:

      Shauna:

      Thanks for writing! I hope to be helpful, but that will only happen if I’m clear in my response. Please read carefully, and let me know if there’s anything in this reply that troubles you.

      I don’t know much about these men. I’d like to be a mind-reader, but that’s not an actual spiritual gift… so all I can do is check things out and look for warning signs. Truly – and I mean no offense – one of the warning signs of false teachers and irresponsible teachers is an inordinate interest in eschatology. We should know what the Bible says about Jesus’ return, but it’s a minor issue when compared with the urgency of knowing the gospel and sharing the gospel. There’s nothing wrong with teaching and preaching about the end… I once taught on Revelation for 8 months straight. There is, however, something wrong with making eschatology a major feature of your ministry. When I see someone whose primary focus is eschatology or prophecy or politics or charismatic gifts, I have to wonder whether they’re actually doing anything meaningful for the Kingdom.

      An analogy: a friend at church is very eager for the things of God. I know her well, and wouldn’t consider her an immature believer. However: almost every time she’s involved in a conversation about the gospel, she talks about the same thing: knowing our identity in Christ. It’s uncommon for her to talk about anything else, and she seems to filter every passage of Scripture through that lens. She’s not wrong for thinking that that’s an important idea, but her relationship with God – and her service to God’s Kingdom – has been flattened into one dimension. I have friends who turn every conversation toward politics, and I have friends who turn every conversation toward eschatology. One friend – a Sunday School teacher for many years – somehow manages to twist almost every conversation back to Genesis 1. These are good and important things, but should not be at the top of anyone’s priority list.

      What should our priority be? Living and explaining the gospel. Jesus is coming back. While we wait, we should be BUSY… not trying to predict when He’ll return, but being ready and helping others be ready for whenever He comes. If someone focuses on eschatology, I would take them in small doses at best. To put it in regular terms, we should treat eschatology as a hobby and not as a career.

      All three of these men seem to be making careers out of hobbies. If you don’t mind, I’ll just come right out and say it: Christians are to actually follow Christ. Jesus talked about the end, but He didn’t talk about it that much. What DID Jesus talk about? Well… read the gospels. See for yourself. Then ask whether these teachers are talking about the things that Jesus talked about. If not, then they’re not actually following Jesus, are they? The apostles – the genuine apostles, in the first century – talked about and wrote about what Jesus said and did. Their message was HIS message.

      Today’s so-called “apostles” spend very little time teaching what Jesus taught. They’re doing something else entirely. They spend their time talking about “the anointing” and making supposedly prophetic utterances that sound suspiciously like horoscopes: “God is doing a new thing. You can’t see it yet, but it’s there. It’s coming. Wait and see. It will be BIG.” We make excuses for these men, overlooking what should be obvious: they’re not preaching the gospel of Jesus… they’re preaching their own. They’re not making disciples of Jesus… they’re gathering their own. I hate to be so blunt, but the reason for my frustration is that if these men would focus on preaching the gospel in the same way that Peter and James and Paul did, we might see thousands more added to the Kingdom in the same way that they did. Instead, they make charts and pick dates and make claims that can’t be verified. They talk about demonstrations of power, trying to prove their spiritual authority. That’s completely unnecessary, which tells me there’s something wrong.

      Where do I get MY spiritual authority?

      I have no spiritual authority. Zero. When I preach the same gospel that Jesus preached, HIS authority shines through. I’m nothing but another simple man who repeats the same-old-same-old message handed down from Jesus in the beginning. I don’t need authority. I don’t want authority. God’s Word is enough… there’s no reason for me to advertise how awesome I am, or how spiritual I am, or how much “apostolic power” I have. All I have to do is be faithful to repeat the process that grew the church in the first place. When teachers and preachers spend any amount of time promoting themselves, rather than promoting Jesus and the gospel, I see big giant red flags. Peter didn’t spend time telling everyone how important he was. Paul said he was the worst of sinners. I hope you can see the gigantic difference between those who actually encountered Jesus on earth and those whose self-promotion makes them seem like Very Important People.

      I love you, Shauna. I don’t want you to miss that. You’re important to God, so you’re important to me. My words might indicate that I’m frustrated… because I am. Not with you, but with people who promote themselves as teachers and preachers of the gospel who fail to actually teach and preach the gospel. I never wanted to write about false teachers, but 20+ years of interacting with readers proved that it’s necessary. So many people are confused about who to trust, and they’re desperately searching for a reliable source of spiritual information that will make their lives better. Nobody should trust Jimmy Evans, or Kent Christmas, or Hank Kunneman, or me. Jesus is completely trustworthy, and that’s all we need. We should preach Christ, and Him crucified. Everybody CAN do that, and all Christians SHOULD do that. If you’re a Christian, you should include yourself.

      If you’re not sure what the gospel actually is, and how to explain it to someone who needs to know it, let me gently but firmly recommend that you make it a priority. Jesus died for you, and – assuming you’re born again – the Holy Spirit has given you spiritual gifts that are designed to build up the Body of Christ. Your role in God’s Kingdom is not to simply listen to other people talk about God. Your role is to know Him, and to help others know Him… and you’re able to do it because God makes you able. I’m sorry this is so long, but you’ve touched my heart in a sensitive spot. My primary ministry is helping believers understand what it means to follow Jesus.

      Let me know how I can help.

  50. Anders says:

    Good answer. Eschatology is briefly and sufficiently dealt with in Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers have one overriding purpose: “to perfect the saints, to do the work of the ministry, to edify the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God… that we be no more children tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive.”

  51. Annie says:

    What are your thoughts on the Dake bible?

    • Tony says:

      Annie:

      My initial thoughts are that it’s to be entirely avoided. However: I haven’t done the kind of research that would allow me to lay out an explanation as to WHY, so I haven’t yet mentioned it. I appreciate you asking!

  52. Jeane B. Lee says:

    I went online and read about the Dake Bible, and the denial of Finis Dake regarding the nature of God and the Trinity. I read enough to agree with you: don’t do it!

  53. Anders says:

    I looked at that article, too. The man had serious moral issues.

  54. Loren Sanders says:

    Tony:

    Thanks for your reply, and for clarifying your beliefs between Simmons and Petersen. I did not intend to portray Petersen as an out and out heretic, and hope your use of the tern was more about defining the differences between the two writers than any unintentional inference by me as while heresy is not a term I shy away from, it is one I am cautious of imputing easily to anyone except the most obvious and egregious examples when they arise.

    By the title of your site, and your writings here, I think that you and I would agree that words/language and their clarity are ridiculously important in all of life, and the erosion of it rears everywhere we turn today, but obviously more importantly regarding the things of God.

    There was a time when no one would have been given a pass by using the word “mistake” instead of the word “sin” to define an action they or someone else had committed – sadly, that is no longer so, and society in general not only propels the continued weakening of language and manipulation of same, but loudly and instantly defends it, or rebuts any question of it.

    THIS is one reason I find The Message outright dangerous, as Petersen’s…oversimplifications rob the scriptures of their depth, and its users (predominantly teens to twenty-somethings 15 years ago) to continue on the long-taught path of blindly accepting what is placed in front of our eyes as truth without question, and in the case of The Message, MANY tacitly take it as the sum total of God’s Word to mankind.

    I keep a copy of it still, for reference at those times when someone quotes it in a theological discussion, or worse, “knows” God’s Word only through it, and I need to be able to be clear in pitting what they say vs. what the KJV, NASB, and so on say – but I would NEVER recommend it to anyone as an actual study tool. It’s weaknesses far outweigh its usefulness for instruction and understanding.

    On a side note before I shut up, I read a number of your posts and replies above regarding “serpent seed” theology, and I commend you on remaining as gracious and patient as you have done – it is an area that when it rears its head (no pun intended), I have to camp my mouth shut, and offer a prayer for my tongue before immersing myself into a discussion that very nearly always quickly becomes as aggressive, insulting, and just plain stupid, as the false theology itself is. It is hard for me to believe how so many of Branham’s Acolytes still hang onto such an ignorant and easily dispelled false teachings all these years after he did so much to spur the TV Snake-Oilers that have arisen since his time.

    God bless and keep you and yours!

    • Tony says:

      Loren:

      Thanks for your reply. I didn’t think you were painting Petersen as a heretic. You asked a good question… one that many need to know the answer to. I’m completely with you on language, by the way. Words have meaning, and using words that obscure what God has said is inherently dangerous. Like you, I find The Message dangerous. I can never recommend it. As I’ve said to my friend Anders, my hesitation in condemning it outright comes from my interactions with Bible scholars, some of whom have been on more than one prominent translation team. Not one such scholar has, to my knowledge, condemned The Message. They may not recommend it either, but I haven’t seen one suggest that it shouldn’t have been published, or that Peterson should be considered a false teacher, or anything like that. Had even one of them done so, I would feel comfortable following their lead.

      Finally, thank you for your kind words. I do work to be patient and kind to even those who aggressively condemn me. I’m not perfect, but I’m a lot more mature now than I was in the late 90s, when I would spend all day in chat rooms and on message boards, hoping to tick off the atheists and the cultists! I can only attribute this to God refining me to be more effective, and I hope that’s the case.

      Have a great day!

  55. Joni says:

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    • Tony says:

      Shelley:

      Thanks for your suggestion. Do you have personal reason for making the suggestion? Do you know her? I’m not familiar with Kristi McLelland. Thanks!

  56. Elroy Ellis says:

    One of the most divisive issue in some of our churches today is women pastors. I read the entire new testament and unable to find scriptures that support women as pastors for churches. Do women have roles in the church Yes but not as pastors Please comment

  57. Mary says:

    I thought Tony Evans believes that God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit….. but not at the same time…. only one expression at any one time. That would be untrue…. any thoughts?

    • Tony says:

      Mary:

      First, thanks for your comment. What you describe is known as Modalism, where God manifests Himself in different ways at different times. In this way, the Father and Son and Spirit are really the same person, just appearing in different roles. This is now, and has always been, false teaching. There are hundreds of examples in Scripture where we see that – for example – the Son is not the Father. There really shouldn’t be any disagreement, but there are people who believe that the three are actually the same person.

      As far as I can tell, Tony Evans is not one of those people. I see that some have claimed it online, but none of them include any quotes from Evans to substantiate the claim. Not only have I not been able to find any quotes where Evans’ words are questionable, I have found the opposite. Did you know that the Tony Evans Bible Commentary exists? I didn’t. It’s possible that he’s changed his view since he wrote it, but I have no evidence for that. Here’s an entry in the Commentary: The Attributes of the Triune God. It appears that his view matches what we see in Scripture, and what we see Christians affirming throughout the centuries.

      If you find any actual quotes from Evans to show that he’s changed his mind, please let me know. Have a great day!

  58. JC says:

    BEWARE of Mike Bickle the most deluded teacher of today. He has been channeling the same spirit realm ‘revelations’ as did occultic mystics Jane Lead and Alice Bailey, matriarch of the New Age movement. “Elijah List”, “Rain of the Spirit”, “Davidic Wars” are just SOME of the heresy he has brought to his followers that came from these two occultic women. The occultic agenda to bring in the Anti Christ, “New Beginnings” is now rampant in the Church. The “new thing” is exactly what these women predicted would infiltrate the Church to bring in the “Great Lord”, the Anti Christ. Bailey said the Church needed a “FRESH” orientation and that word is everywhere. A
    fresh revelation, a fresh anointing, a fresh etc. In other words the NEW FRESH thing is replacing the Scriptures. And, unbelieveably, Jane Lead predicted that in the last days, the WARS OF DAVID in the “Church” would rise up. Meaning to eradicate true Christians. The “Davids” are the spirit realm revelation people and follow the (false) “Rhema” and the “Sauls” are those who follow the written Word, the Logos. So here comes Bickel and false teacher Rick Joyner who promote Davidic Wars! Identical. SO the charismatic Church is promoting the occultic agenda to make the Church militant. They say the Church today is a “Warrior Bride” And this militant rhetoric is to eliminate the “Sauls”. This is very real and fits in with Scripture where Christians will be persecuted. And the most moronic and demonic move by the Charismatic church is to twist the Scripture that says “The letter of the Law kills and the Spirit gives Life” (Meaning This is Law vs. Grace.)
    II Corinthians 3 And now false teacher Bill Johnson and the Charismatic church says that “the letter of the Law” is THE BIBLE! So they are pushing the occultic agenda to eradicate the Scriptures in favor of the “Hearing God” phenomenon. Satan, in these last days, wants us to hear HIS voice and not Gods thru the written Word. So he has orchestrated the ‘hearing God’ agenda and its deceiving Christians everywhere.

  59. Kim Everitt says:

    What a refreshing site this is that I have come across! I’m from South Africa and struggle to find good teaching and have to resort to online from time to time.

    Thanks for the list! I’m currently working through the Bible with myself and the Holy Spirit to learn it for myself as you have stated.

    Two questions that I saw above of interested. What about the gospel music of these churches? I live bethel and hill song praise and worship. surely these can’t be affected?

    Also, what are you opinions of smith wigglesworth? I’m led to believe he watched and read nothing other than the Bible and is meant to be quite “pure”.

    Lastly, where in the New Testament for the gentiles does it talk about tithings? I really have an issue with not being a part of a church that teachers correctly and so must I give tithes to an organisation I have no idea about? My mom says Reinhard Bonke is where she supports (your thought on that organisation?)

    • Tony says:

      Kim:

      Thanks for your comment! As we discussed via email, the songs put out by Hillsong, Bethel, and Elevation are often quite good. I can’t promote them, though… since promoting them helps the ministries behind them, which are all known for false teaching. It’s rather discouraging. I wouldn’t tell anyone to not listen to their music, but I would suggest that we all consider the consequences.

      Smith Wigglesworth was not biblically orthodox. As I wrote in an earlier comment about the same man: First, he often taught that illnesses were the result of demonic activity and unbelief. Needless to say – well, I wish it didn’t need to be said, but it too often does – that’s entirely unbiblical. He claimed to have raised the dead, and distributed ‘prayer cloths.’ These sort of things, in my estimation, simply have no place in the life of the Bible-believing Christian. His excesses seem to be the same excesses we see in other Pentecostal offenders, and I would not consider him a reliable teacher.

      The New Testament does not teach Christians to tithe. Tithing had to do with the promised land of the old covenant. Tithes were primarily collected for those who couldn’t own land: widows, orphans, priests, and foreign converts to Judaism. Modern Christians have never been part of that covenant or that system, so tithing has never applied to us. There’s nothing wrong with giving 10% of your income to your local church, but that’s not even close to what God said about tithing. While I do understand that you might not want to be in a church that teaches something incorrectly, let me encourage you to not make tithing a deal-breaker. It’s a secondary matter, and not worth dividing over. If it’s just one in a long list of reasons to not attend somewhere, that’s different… but I would try to keep a church’s error about tithing from being too annoying. I’ve been there.

      Reinhard Bonnke is not to be trusted in any sense, about anything important. Let’s start by saying that anybody on Oprah’s list of important people is unlikely to be biblically orthodox. Like his buddy Benny Hinn and others, he claims to have raised people from the dead. He’s an ecumenical faith healer, and I would suggest that he’s a fraud through and through. One day I may write an article outlining his beliefs and controversies.

  60. Anders says:

    I’m sure you are aware that Bonnke died in April of 2019. I heard him speak here in Sweden many years ago. I recall nothing of what he said. Effective stage presence, though.

  61. Jackie says:

    Hello, you said that illness being related to demons is unbiblical, what is your understanding of Acts 8:7 and Acts 19:12?
    You also said the serpent seed is unbiblical, what is your understanding of Gen 3:15? To be clear, I don’t believe satan had sex with eve, but i do believe this scripture is literal. The fallen angels did mate with humans and create seeds. Your thoughts?

    • Tony says:

      Jackie:

      Thanks for your comment! Let’s look at those passages.

      Here’s Acts 8:7: For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.

      The repetition of “many” shows that these are different groups of people. Many had demons, and many were paralyzed or lame. I see no reason to connect the groups and claim that the physical problems were caused by the impure spirits. Can you find a reason – in the text itself – to connect them?

      Here’s Acts 19:12: God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

      At first glance, this verse does seem to connect the two… but when we look closely at the original language, the connection seems weaker. Literally. The word translated “sick” is the Greek ASTHENEO. It’s a bit more flexible than “physically ill.” Here’s what ASTHENEO means:

      • to be weak, feeble, to be without strength, powerless
      • to be weak in means, needy, poor
      • to be feeble, sick

      Who are “the sick”? Sometimes ASTHENEO means “physically ill,” but it’s used differently in different passages:

      • In John 5:3, it’s used to describe people who are blind, lame, and paralyzed.
      • In Acts 20:35, Paul uses it to talk about giving to the poor.
      • In Romans 8:3, it’s used to describe the weakness of the law.
      • In Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8, it’s used to describe weak faith.
      • In 2 Corinthians 8:12, Paul uses it to refer to foolishness.
      • In 2 Corinthians 12:10, Paul uses it to describe stresses like insults and persecutions.

      While it’s theoretically possible that Acts 19:12 refers to demons making people ill, we don’t see that in other passages. At best, let’s agree that that verse MAY teach it, but that it’s unclear. Let’s also agree that demons aren’t the cause of ALL illnesses. One of the primary principles of biblical interpretation is that we use clear verse to interpret unclear verses, and that we don’t make doctrines from unclear passages. Does that make sense?

      As for the serpent seed doctrine, the basic idea is that Cain was the child of sexual union between Satan and Eve. This is obviously unbiblical. I don’t agree with it, and you don’t either. Genesis 3:15 doesn’t suggest that Satan or demons had sex with humans. Maybe you’re talking about the Nephilim from Genesis 6. It’s a common idea, but isn’t supported by Jewish or Christian tradition, and doesn’t have support from any other passage of Scripture. The most common interpretation among scholars – both religious and irreligious – is not that the Nephilim were non-human spiritual beings like demons, but what were also called ‘mighty men.’ Again, at best, the passage is unclear. Nobody should be making doctrine from that passage, let alone build other doctrines on top of that kind of interpretation.

      Can you find any clear teaching in Scripture to suggest that illnesses are caused by demons, or that demons can have sex with humans and create demon/human hybrids?

      Thanks for writing. Have a great day!

  62. Jackie says:

    Tony thanks for your respond.

    So for Acts 8:7, the KJV reads: “For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.”
    ‭‭You will notice there is a colon (:) not a comma (,) placed right after “possessed with them”… grammatically this identifies a list and it gives further clarification and or emphasis to the first part of the text. Which connects the two.

    For Acts 19:12 the KJV reads: “So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.”
    It is clear that the “sick” being spoken of in this passage had “diseases” as the text reads, and it is clear that when they were healed from their diseases evil spirits departed from them. That is a clear connection and it is biblical.
    Now I agree that not ALL illness is related to demons, but to say that illness being related to demons is unbiblical is simply not true.

    As for Gen 3:15, the KJV reads: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
    ‭‭
    God himself made a statement here, he specifically identified “the serpent seed” GEN 6 gives more detail. Jewish or Christian “Tradition” don’t over-rule scripture. The bible is very clear for those who have an ear to hear.

    The book of Enoch is even more descriptive of this topic.

    • Tony says:

      Jackie:

      Thanks for getting back to me!

      Something that many don’t know is that ancient Greek (known as Koine) has no punctuation. There are no colons, periods, or commas in the ancient manuscripts of the New Testament. They’re put there by the translators, based on how they think the passage is best understood. While the added punctuation may be helpful, it’s important to remember that the punctuation isn’t inspired. Here’s the literal translation used in the KJV… the word order is different, reflecting the word order in Greek:

      For unclean spirits crying with loud voice came out of many that were possessed with them and many taken with palsies and that were lame were healed

      Since the KJV was translated, many more ancient manuscripts have been found. That helps us translate each passage better. Here is what most consider the best word-for-word translation available (the NASB 2020):

      For in the case of many who had unclean spirits they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed

      As you can see, this passage doesn’t indicate that people were paralyzed or lame because they had unclean spirits. Rather, it indicates that those with unclean spirits were in a different group or category from those who were physically healed. This matches what we see in other passages.

      As for Acts 19:12, I’ll repeat what you read earlier: the use of the English word “sick” does not necessarily indicate physical illness. The word means ill, or weak, or needy. We can’t look only at the English to determine what the author meant, of course. When there’s a question about the translation, we need to go back to the original to learn the author’s intent. As with Acts 8:7, there’s nothing in the original wording of Acts 19:12 to suggest that people were physically ill because they were possessed by evil spirits. If you’re going to make the case that physical illness is caused by demonic activity, you’ll need some other verses… these aren’t clear enough to draw that conclusion.

      Let’s read Genesis 3:15 carefully: And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.

      Or, as the KJV puts it, between THY seed and HER seed. Not ‘the child born to Eve and Satan.’ Who is it that crushes the head of Satan’s seed? Jesus Christ, of course. Pretty much everybody in church history has read this the same way, with the exception of certain mystics whose beliefs in this area were always rejected by the Jews and the Christians. In order to substantiate the claim that Eve and Satan had sex and had children – the basis for the ‘serpent seed’ doctrine – you’ll need to substantiate it with more than this. You’ve already rejected the idea that Satan and Eve had sex. Do you have any direct biblical evidence that demons and humans have sex?

      No, the Book of Enoch doesn’t count. First, it’s not Scripture. Second, it says the offspring of angels and humans were “three thousand ells” tall. How tall is that? Most people think an ell was like a cubit… about 18 inches. That would make them four thousand, five hundred feet tall. Even if an ell is only an inch, that would make them 250 feet tall. What human woman could give birth to such a being? Who could really believe that the Book of Enoch is accurately describing history?

      Then it says that these giants consumed all of humanity’s acquisitions. When those ran out, they devoured mankind. Then they ate animals, then one another. Then it says that four angels looked down from Heaven and said to each other that the Earth, which had no inhabitants, cried out against the giants. And so on. There’s a good reason the Book of Enoch was never considered a true record of anything.

      You don’t believe that Satan had sex with Eve. Do you believe that women gave birth to children who grew to be hundreds of feet tall?

      Thanks again for an interesting conversation!

  63. Jackie says:

    It appears you are going to great lengths to create and justify a different meaning for what “most people” commonly know as to the meaning of the word sick. God is not that confusing, and its not rocket science. The text was put together because they relate to each other, simple as that. The verses I referenced in Acts validate each other. The serpent seed question I posed didn’t disclose a specific doctrine, and I stated that I don’t believe satan had sex with eve. I did however reference a verse in GEN that specifically speaks to the serpents seed, that which you claim is unbiblical. If it were unbiblical why is it in the bible? As for the book of Enoch, it is scripture, and in fact is referenced in the bible several times. It was excluded from the bible because of its spiritual context and to suppress the truth. But I can see that our exchange will not conclude in correction or agreement so I will retreat now. Good day.

    • Tony says:

      Jackie:

      I’m more than a little disappointed that you want to retreat. I’m simply pointing to the established facts. No, I’m not going to great lengths to justify anything. I’m pointing to the simple fact that Greek and English aren’t the same language. When there’s a question about the meaning of any passage, we work to understand what the author meant. That means leaving behind our 21st-century assumptions and trying to put ourselves in their shoes. The word that’s commonly translated “sick” sometimes mean “physically ill,” but sometimes it doesn’t. That’s a fact, as I pointed out with numerous Scriptures. If you can’t accept that fact, I guess retreating is your only option.

      The fact that the words “serpent” and “seed” are combined in Genesis does not mean that the so-called ‘serpent seed doctrine’ – not my words, but the words of those who teach it – is true. The serpent seed doctrine IS that Satan had sex with Eve… that Satan is Cain’s father, and Cain’s descendants are demon/human hybrids. I’m not saying that Genesis doesn’t talk about the serpent’s seed. Obviously it does. What it doesn’t do is suggest that Cain’s father is Satan.

      As for whether the Book of Enoch is Scripture, I have to call you out on that one. It’s not. Never has been. Your claim about it being excluded requires evidence, and you have none.

      I wish you well, Jackie. I hope that our discussion won’t be a discouragement, but will encourage you to study the Scriptures more closely. Have a great day!

  64. Dwight Petete says:

    I am curious as to your thoughts on Gino Jennings.

    • Tony says:

      Dwight:

      First, let me apologize for the delay in getting back to you. I answer each email personally, and sometimes they stack up. In your case, things were made worse when the info I gathered was lost by a power outage… so I will begin again. Second, I started writing this as an email, rather than as a comment… so it’s a bit longer than my usual reply.

      I would not consider Gino Jennings a reliable Bible teacher. I’ll publish this material in a full article later, but wanted to get this out today. Here are some of the reasons I would consider him a false teacher:

      • First, it appears that a primary consideration for his ministry is selling products. It’s not bad to support yourself through ministry, of course… but his website appears less about his message than about purchasing his message. A small quibble.
      • Next, reading the History section of his website is like listening to a History Channel biography designed to promote the man. It’s all about HIM, and about how awesome HE is, and about HIS divine vision, and how well HE has served. I don’t find this kind of self-promotion among reliable Bible teachers. Sure, they will have a bio… but it’s usually more about things like their family, their educational background, and their work in various ministries. It’s about explaining who they are, and virtually never about explaining how great they are.
      • Theologically, his church teaches Oneness… that is, that Jesus is God. All of God. No trinity… both Father and Spirit are simply different manifestations of Jesus. This is known historically as modalism, and has been considered heresy throughout all of church history. Here’s one example from his website: “Jesus Christ is Father, was Son, is Holy Ghost.”
      • Like many in the Holiness tradition – in which I grew up, was a licensed minister, and still recommend – they appear to lean hard toward the legalism and “Standards” (capital S) prevalent in many churches… that if you don’t do things exactly right, they don’t count. For example, if you don’t take communion with wine, you’re doing it wrong and you’re ‘carnal.’ Women shouldn’t wear pants, Christians shouldn’t celebrate pagan holidays like Christmas and Easter, etc. They even forbid braiding hair on the premises as going ‘against the standard of Holiness.’
      • Like many other Charismatics, Jennings teaches that everyone who receives the Holy Spirit will speak in tongues. This is unbiblical, as we see in passages like 1 Corinthians 12.
      • He teaches baptismal regeneration… that is, one cannot be saved unless they’re baptized. This too is unbiblical.
      • Oddly, he teaches that foot-washing should be observed as often as communion.
      • Oddly, he teaches that a woman who talks louder than a man is out of place.
      • It appears he believes that his church is the only true church. Two reasons: first, when expressing that the gospel should be preached throughout the world, he says it is to be done by establishing churches under their own umbrella. Next, any minister who influences someone to leave and establish ‘their own work’ will be removed, and have his credentials as a minister revoked. Apparently everything anyone does for the Kingdom must be done inside their own framework.
      • Any minister who quotes from any book, text or passage outside the Bible will be removed from teaching. A second offense will cause them to be disfellowshipped “from this assembly and the Body of Christ.” That last bit should alarm anyone, and speaks volumes about his view of his own authority.
      • At no time can any church member share any teaching message or service (on social media, for example) without explicit permission. They have four “Holy Convocations” each year, in different parts of the country, and attendance at all four are mandatory for all members.
      • All women over one year old must wear head coverings whenever leaving home. Women must wear head coverings in the home while they’re fasting, or in the presence of visiting males (including video chats). Photographs and videos of all women should show them with their heads covered. Women are not to cut, trim, dye, braid, straighten or curl their hair in any manner for any reason, nor are they to wear any makeup or jewelry.
      • As mentioned before, women should not wear pants (or shorts, or split skirts)… nor should their shoulders or upper arms ever be exposed. Skirts should fall no lower than 5 inches above their ankles, with hosiery. Without hosiery, skirts “must reach and touch the sister’s ankle.” No shoes without toes or backs, and no sandals. They should not dress in solid red garments.
      • Men are not to have or wear handkerchiefs in jacket pockets. Shirt sleeves should end at the elbow, or be longer. No shorts in public, ever. No sandals. No socks with bright colors or patterns. No solid red garments. Be neatly shaven at all times. No jewelry.

      I could go on and on. Simply put, what I see about Gino Jennings is the stereotypical “Standards” Oneness Pentecostal on steroids. I have no doubt that he teaches many true things, of course. I also have no idea – and no opinion – as to whether he’s been born again. What I do know is that he teaches unbiblical things, and that the lifestyle that he demands of men and women and children in his care reflects the commonly-held notion that one can be made spiritually dirty by the world around us. These rules are the legalistic result of ‘washing the outside of the cup’ as a means of making sure the inside remains clean. That’s not how it works, of course. While I appreciate that he teaches believers to take seriously the idea of personal holiness and a good public witness, he – like so many others in his tradition – crosses the line from freedom in Christ to bondage.

      I would never recommend him as a teacher due to the false, unbiblical things he teaches. I would never recommend him as a leader of any kind due to his legalism. There are simply too many good teachers out there… there’s no reason to spend any time listening to Jennings. I wish it weren’t so, but it is. I’m praying for him, and I hope you will as well.

      Let me know if you have any questions, or if there’s more I can do for you.
      Have a great day!

  65. Melissa Marshall says:

    I’ve been reading and watching a couple of videos of a man named Derek Prince. He seems to minister rather well, but I’m sceptical about some of the things he is saying, like casting out demons. He mostly talks about them . I’m not really sure if he’s legit or not. I can’t always tell whether this preacher is ministering the truth. When he does his sermons, he does quote scripture but still I’m hesitant because of the things he claims he can do, like casting out demons and healing the sick, etc. He’s similar to Wigglesworth.

    • Tony says:

      Melissa:

      Thanks for asking! You’re wise to be hesitant. I’ve begun an article about the false teaching of Joseph Prince that should answer some of your questions. There’s more to add, but it’s a start. Let me know if you have any questions. I wouldn’t consider Wigglesworth a reliable teacher of Scripture, either.

  66. Carol says:

    You must include Francis Chan in that list

    • Tony says:

      Carol:

      Please respond with evidence that Francis Chan is a false teacher. It would be VERY irresponsible for anyone to simply make the claim without any evidence. I’m sure you would agree. Thank you for your time!

  67. Tim says:

    I think I may be a little late to the party, but I hope this gets a response. I’m not sure how your website works with investigation requests. I have some friends who follow some of the prosperity teachers (Copeland and Hinn to name two). They also follow Todd White (who seems to be WoF and Latter Rain associated), so I was wondering if you have any thoughts on his teachings? In my investigation of false teachers I’ve come across criticisms of Francis Chan (mostly due to him doing conferences with some WoF teachers such as The Send 2019) as well as Andy Stanley (I enjoy Stanley’s teaching and have struggled to find anything of substance against him, the claims all seem to be hearsay). I’m not sure if you have any insights on their teachings and the Scriptural accuracy of them? I’d love an article on Todd White, because his teachings seem to be catching on like wildfire.

    • Tony says:

      Tim:

      Welcome! You’re not late. =)

      Todd White is certainly an interesting man, and a fascinating teacher. He also appears to be Word of Faith (or, at least, Word of Faith-adjacent). I’ve looked into him a bit in the past, before I started writing about false teachers here. I need to review what he teaches, as he’s very popular.

      I’ve really enjoyed Francis Chan’s teaching in the past. I’m troubled by his association with false teachers, but have not yet seen any statements by him that I find particularly troubling. He could just be using them to reach their audience, but time will tell. I’m with you about Andy Stanley. While there are things I might disagree with him about, and there are probably ways in which he could communicate more clearly to avoid controversy, I haven’t found any reason to consider him a false teacher.

  68. JC says:

    In the 60s while at a Billy Graham crusade my father was horrified to see priests and nuns under the tents giving out pro Catholic literature. I have heard him declare the Pope as one of the greatest spiritual leaders in Christendom today. He revered Mother Theresa who put her faith in the Mass. He was being interviewed in England and was asked about fundamentalism. Graham looked into the camera angry, made a fist and said, “Its intolerance!” I was shocked. He also says in his book “Just As I Am” how he would recruit Catholics to help him with his crusades. Thousands got saved under Graham but he truly taught a universal Jesus because he would tell Jews and Catholics who went forward at the crusades, to stay in their churches but ‘follow Jesus.” Graham never taught Catholicism but sent mixed messages to his followers by giving accolades to the Catholic church. There is not enough room here to list all the dangerous and confusing alliances he had during his ministry.

    • Tony says:

      JC:

      Thanks for taking the time to write. Billy Graham wasn’t perfect, of course. I wouldn’t tell Jews and Catholics to stay where they were, and to just follow Jesus there. Many have noted that Graham, in his earlier ministry, focused entirely on the cross and almost never mentioned the resurrection. That seems like a significant theological oversight. Plenty of people have had valid criticisms of Billy Graham.

      Of course, our criticisms must be offered wisely. First, I wouldn’t include him as a false teacher unless he specifically taught something that contradicted Scripture. If you’re aware of anything he taught, specifically, that contradicts Scripture… please let me know. While you’re at it, it might be useful to keep in mind the context in which Graham worked. In doing that, we may alter our views a bit.

      For example: Graham’s statement about fundamentalism needs context. Graham is considered one of the early leaders in the evangelical movement. Both “fundamentalist” and “evangelical” had slightly different tones than they do today. Fundamentalists, generally speaking, were insular. They weren’t known for sharing their faith, and were often criticized for having a kind of ‘us vs them’ approach to the unsaved. Evangelicalism was a response to the fundamentalism of that time. Evangelicals believed that sharing their faith with the lost was crucial, and so they would go and share their faith wherever they could get a hearing. Fundamentalists criticized evangelicals, suggesting that they were in league with the unsaved because they shared a platform with people of other faiths. Graham’s statement about intolerance wasn’t off-base, in light of the historical setting. It was less a theological critique than a critique of strategy. Those “dangerous and confusing alliances” were actually one of the only ways anyone was bringing the gospel to the unsaved at that point in time.

      Other evangelicals were similarly criticized. Walter Martin (“The Bible Answer Man”) was criticized for speaking at the LDS convention. What most people didn’t know was that he was invited, and he only went on the condition that they allowed him to speak his mind without limitation. He shared the plain gospel with them, explaining that Mormon theology could not save them. These facts put things in a slightly different light.

      As for Graham being a universalist, I’m not sure that holds water. His gospel presentations seem to focus clearly on the need for a savior, and repentance, and on the exclusivity of following Jesus as the only way to be saved. If we’re going to criticize Graham as a universalist, we must also hold C.S. Lewis to account. He taught – very clearly, in the Narnia books – that sincere worship of other gods would be considered True Worship of the One True God, and a way to be saved. I doubt you would agree with Lewis on this. I don’t. Graham, as far as I know, never went that far. I bring this up to say that nobody has it all right. I’m not excusing bad theology (heaven forbid), but simply pointing out that there can be more to the story than is normally told.

      Does that make sense?

  69. Doona Goding says:

    Please check out Jerry Toney on YouTube. Was a “ pastor”, no a prophet. Says vaccine IS the mark of beast and that seals have been opened… he wants people to hang on his every word. When I questioned his timing he was belligerent and rude.

  70. Clare says:

    What is your opinion of the ministry of Robert Morris?

    • Tony says:

      Clare:

      Robert Morris is the pastor of Gateway Church, which has many different locations. If you go to their website and see their Statement of Faith, you’ll see a very thorough and responsible explanation of basic Christian beliefs. Having reviewed thousands of church websites (I’m a web designer by trade), this is one of the best I’ve seen. It expresses what we see in the Bible, especially in the New Testament. I’ve never heard him say anything that raised a red flag, so I consider him reliable. I don’t have a lot of experience listening to him, so he’s not yet on my list of Bible Teachers I Can Recommend.

      Of course, we should always think carefully about what we’re taught, and compare what we hear with what God has said in Scripture. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!

  71. Julie says:

    Something I noticed on your site>> False teachers are infiltrating churches through woman’s ministries. Definitely a wolf in sheeps clothing. Women are often involved in kids ministries and teaching other women. They are teaching their thoughts on spiritual matters to children in the home. Women’s book studies at churches I have been in are following false teachers. Perhaps men read their books and watch their videos too. Your lists need to include more women who are false teachers.

    • Tony says:

      Julie:

      My exposure to women’s ministries is somewhat limited. =) I could use your help. If you have specific women in mind, I could only write about them if I have their own words, contradicting Scripture. If, after reading What is a False Teacher?, you feel the need to help, I would certainly welcome your input.

  72. Clara Borgaes says:

    In all fairness, wasn’t the Narnia books written by C. S. Lewis written before he was saved?

    • Tony says:

      Clara: Lewis became a Christian in 1931, and published The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe in 1950. The series – which I love – is clearly Christian allegory, making fictional parallels to the truths of the gospel. They are, without doubt, evangelical in nature.

  73. Clara Borgaes says:

    Thank you for responding to my question about Robert Morris.

  74. Clara Borgaes says:

    I stand corrected on C.S. Lewis. I guess I just assumed. My daughter has a collection of his books. She just gave me the one to read called “Mere Christianity.”

  75. Tony says:

    No, “Concerned Christian.” That’s not how it works. If you could, please outline the false teachings that you’ve found there. I can do some research and verify. If we don’t have actual factual data to show that someone teaches falsely, it would be bad to add them to a list of false teachers. I hope you’ll agree.

  76. Tiera-Lyn says:

    Can you explain what is wrong with the five fold ministry? I think it’s biblical based (at least what I know about it) coming from Ephesians. Can you elaborate why it’s false teaching?

    • Tony says:

      Tiera-Lyn:

      A good question… thanks for asking! You’re right: the idea, at least, comes directly from Ephesians 4:11 where Paul lists 5 (or four) kinds of roles that equip Christians for service. I’ve written up an answer for you in a new article: Is the Five-Fold Ministry False Teaching?

      The main point is that the apostles and prophets mentioned in Ephesians are not modern-day people, but historical people whose work has been completed. My goal isn’t to complain or argue, but to point people to Scripture so they can study it for themselves. I hope you’ll take a look, and let me know what you think. Thanks!

  77. Angie Jack says:

    Hi there, I’m so happy I came across this! Thank you. I’m not surprised by many of the names you have listed to be honest. What are your thoughts on Misty Edwards? I love her music so am hoping she is ok but have a sinking feeling that I may be wrong.
    I also used to listen to Joyce Myers a lot but lost interest a long time ago. Please can you suggest some good teachers and music to listen too.
    Being honest, and after reading some of your responses, I’ve realised I’ve been so wrong. I’ve been following current events and watching/listening to Sky Watch tv. It’s never truly sat right with me, but I keep checking it out. Have you heard of it? Names like Thomas Horn, the late Cris Putnam, Dr Phil and many more.
    Have you heard of Veronica West. She has a page on Facebook. She’s an Irish prophet. I’d love to know your thoughts. Looking forward to your reply. Thank you.

    • Tony says:

      Angie:

      Thanks for writing! I’m very pleased to hear that the article has been helpful.

      I don’t know Misty Edwards’ music. I do know that I have some issues with IHOP, and that she’s a part of IHOP. That doesn’t mean anything substantial is wrong… but, as with everything, we should compare what is taught – or sung – with Scripture. Music is very powerful, so it’s important to use music as a tool and not as a guide. If you’re looking for some new music, I also run Awesome Christian Music. If you click Autoplay below the video, it will continue playing song after song. I recommend also clicking on Shuffle, to get the best variety. You may find some new favorite songs and artists there. Because the topic on this article is false teachers, I would generally avoid Hillsong, Bethel, and Elevation music. All three churches (where their music is based) are known for false teaching. Some of their songs are wonderful, and some are not… but I can’t promote their music at all because some people will assume that their teaching is sound, when it’s clearly not.

      It’s nice to hear that you’re reassessing the things you’re putting into your heart and mind. That’s very wise! Put simply, I would avoid any of the traditional “Christian” television shows. Most of them are quite simply false teachers. Most of them are part of the Word of Faith movement, which is where we find Joyce Meyer and Steven Furtick and the rest. I’ve begun a list of teachers I can recommend… people who are faithful to repeat the gospel as it was handed down by Jesus and His first disciples. I’d start there.

      As for Veronika West, please listen carefully. I don’t want you to take my word for this… I want you to think deeply, and carefully, about the idea of prophecy. How do we know if a prophecy is true? Can we know ahead of time? We can’t, can we? If I said that the Isle of Man would sink into the sea tomorrow, you’d have to wait until tomorrow to know whether I’m a false prophet or a true prophet. You wouldn’t be able to recommend me as a prophet until after my prophecies came to pass.

      Well… so what do we do about modern prophets? How can we judge whether THEY are trustworthy? Is there a way to know whether a prophet should be heard, or silenced? I would suggest there are two ways. First – as with anyone, including you and me – we compare what they say with what God has already said in the Bible. If they contradict the clear teaching of Scripture, especially the New Testament, they are not to be trusted. Not today, not tomorrow… regardless of how many times they claim to speak for God. The second test is that their prophecies come to pass. When we look at modern “prophets,” it’s my experience that they fall into two categories:

      1. Horoscope writers, and
      2. False teachers.

      I don’t like saying that. I do believe that God can use people today to speak prophetic words to the world and the church. Unfortunately, after decades of watching, I see no true prophets. Certainly none of the famous ones I’ve seen can be counted on to teach the gospel faithfully. Instead, they say things like “Big Things are coming your way” and “God is about to open the door” and “Abundant blessings are waiting for you.” Most “prophets” are little more than writers of religious-sounding horoscopes, which are general enough to apply to a lot of people and unspecific enough to be safe from scrutiny. Here’s an example from Veronika West: “The Fires of Purification are about to manifest in ways never seen before!” That doesn’t actually mean anything, does it? How can anyone know whether this is a true or false prophecy? It’s literally impossible.

      On the other hand, have you ever heard a modern prophet say something really, really specific? I have. My old friend Ted tried to tell the world that the city of Salem, Oregon (USA) would be destroyed on December 25th of that year, unless the people in the city repented. When it didn’t happen, Ted foolishly refused to see that he had been misled, and that he had prophesied falsely. Instead, he claimed that God must have been testing him for some unknown reason. This is how it works with people who stubbornly cling to things that SOUND good but simply aren’t true. I went through the same with a childhood friend a couple of years ago, and she still can’t admit she was wrong.

      I’d like to make a suggestion. Read what Peter said in 2 Peter 1:3 first:

      His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

      Peter wrote that almost 2000 years ago, right? Well, 2000 years ago THEY had ALL they needed for a godly life. They already had all the knowledge of Jesus that they needed. They didn’t need anyone to tell them anything more than what Jesus had already revealed. They weren’t dependent on a constant stream of new, fresh, current information to live as they should.

      My suggestion to you is that you make it your life’s priority to learn what Peter knew. If you and I knew what Peter knew, WE TOO would have the knowledge we need to live a godly life. We would know what to do, how to live, how to act, what to think, and what we should tell others about God. Does that make sense to you? It’s fun and interesting and enticing to think that God is giving someone like Veronika West some new, special, important information that we need to hear to keep up with what God is doing… but it’s a trap. Rather than focusing on the godly life that Jesus taught Peter about, we tend to focus on the sensational. Let me encourage you to ignore every person who calls themselves a prophet, or an apostle, or claims to speak for God. God spoke for Himself through Jesus, and His disciples wrote that down for us. That’s more than enough. Faithful teachers simply explain what God has already said.

      My goal is to encourage you to trust God more today than you did yesterday. Let me know how I can help.

  78. Angie says:

    Hi Tony! Thank you so much for your amazing jam packed reply. Wow! This has helped and encouraged me no-end. You have answered all of my questions, and it feels so good to finally have some peace regarding these things.
    Thanks so much for all the info regarding music and good teachers. I do so appreciate this. So good to see Toby Mac in there, I love his music! I need to read your message again and read the scriptures you have suggested. I’m so encouraged! Thank you 🤗🙌👑🙏🗡☺️

  79. Bo says:

    In one of the comments above some asked about Derek Prince and I believe, Tony thought it was Joseph Prince and attached an article.
    What are your thoughts of the late Derek Prince?

    • Tony says:

      Bo:

      Thanks for asking. As I wrote above:

      Derek Prince is one of the founders of the “Shepherding Movement” that caused to much trouble in the 1990s, and – in spite of his impressive resume – is not someone I would trust. There was a lot of abuse in the Shepherding Movement, and Prince bears a lot of responsibility. The basic idea was that each Christian needed a shepherd, and they were to obey that shepherd without question, ‘as a slave,’ and they didn’t need to know the reasons for what they were doing. Much of what Prince taught was obviously good, but the disaster that he started will always rule him out for me.

      I’m Tony. Does that answer your question?

  80. Roy says:

    I was wondering what you could tell me about C3 Church?

    • Tony says:

      Roy:

      Thanks for asking. Phil and Christine Pringle were the founders of C3 Church. I haven’t published an article about them yet, as I haven’t gathered enough data. It’s important to be careful to tell the truth about everything, but especially about people. Phil is on the board of Yongii Cho’s church growth group. That, by itself, should be enough to persuade… Cho is without question a false teacher. In addition, C3 has had some scandals, and drew the attention of Australian investigators over their their teaching about “seed” giving… that giving to God would return a greater financial reward. Phil calls himself an apostle, which is a bad sign… most who do are not responsible Bible teachers. In his case, it’s because he’s part of the false teaching network known as the New Apostolic Reformation. He’s also falsely prophesied. When another member of Cho’s board was charged with crimes in Singapore, Pringle claimed to have the power declare “deliverance” for Kong Hee, and that Hee wouldn’t spend even one night behind bars:

      Here right now. Father in heaven, deliverance is theirs. What a victory this will be. Though it’s dragged on, it’s only for a greater rope to hang the devil by. In Jesus name, Father we pronounce victory. We pronounce conquering. We pronounce deliverance in Jesus’ name. Not one night will this fair head spend behind bars.

      This kind of unbiblical “declaring” is common for false teachers, whether in the Word of Faith or NAR movements. In addition, Pringle was wrong. Hee had to return $50,000,000 to the church, was convicted in Singapore’s biggest case of misuse of charitable funds, and spent two-and-a-half years in prison.

      Because Cho is a false teacher, and has been for decades, I would suggest that any religious leader who would be on any board with him – at best – lacks the discernment needed to lead, and – at worst – is also a false teacher. I’m instantly skeptical of anyone calling themself an apostle, which has a specific biblical definition… there are no modern apostles.

      I would stay far away from any C3 church. Does that give you the information you were looking for?

  81. clara Borgaes says:

    Tony, Just a followup on Robert Morris. I agree with most of his teachings but something he said recently didn’t seem right to me. It was about tithing. He told about checking up on a guy his daughter was dating to see if he tithed or not. He said he wouldn’t want his daughter to be dating a thief. In a round-about way, he was saying that you were a thief if you don’t tithe. I couldn’t believe that he would be telling this to the congregation. To me, if I attended his church, I wouldn’t feel comfortable knowing he was (or could be) snooping around about me. I was wondering what your take on this would be and also what the correct biblical teaching on tithing is. I couldn’t find where you have commented on this subject. Sorry if I’ve overlooked it.

    • Tony says:

      Clara:

      Thanks for writing! Every false teacher says lots of things that are true. That’s part of why they’re dangerous, of course. They mix their own errors with God’s true word.

      Unfortunately, there are a lot of sincere, not-false teachers who teach the same thing about tithing. It’s based on a really poor misreading of Malachi 3. It’s really simple:

      1. Only ancient Israelites, living in the promised land, were to tithe. That’s the context.
      2. In Malachi 1, we see clearly who God was talking to: The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi. He wasn’t talking to the Egyptians, or the Chaldeans, or the Canadians.
      3. The tithe was somewhat complicated, but the basic idea was that they would collect food to give to those who were legally prevented from owning land: widows, orphans, priests, and foreigners. To be as blunt as possible, the tithe would not have been collected FROM us, it would have been given TO us.

      There’s no New Testament support for the idea that a pastor should keep track of anyone else’s finances. That certainly goes too far. Now, if someone seeks a leadership position in a church, it’s reasonable to ask whether they financially support the ministry… but that’s it. To make sure someone is actually tithing, wouldn’t the pastor need to know BOTH what you give, and also how much you make? How else could they calculate 10%? No, that’s simply not biblical.

      If you’d like to read more about tithing, I have several articles that might help:

      Let me know if you have further questions… that’s why I’m here. Have a great day!

  82. Angie says:

    Hi there,
    I did message you but perhaps I made a mistake in my email address. I was just wondering why you think Joyce Myers is a false teacher? I used to watch her religiously, and thought she was great. I related to her preaching almost every time I watched! Her ministry seemed to do a lot for the poor, so I thought she was genuine, especially with the testimony she has. I’d love to know your thoughts. Thanks!

    • Tony says:

      Angie:

      Thanks for asking! I’ve replied to your email. When I have time to gather the quotes, I’ll post a full article. I’m sitting next to 8 of her books, so there’s plenty to choose from. Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

  83. paul geer says:

    What about Andy Stanley. Didn’t see him on your list and he is very big in Atlanta.

    • Tony says:

      Paul:

      What about Andy Stanley? I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way. Do you consider him to be wrong about secondary issues, or to be a false teacher who teaches contrary to the foundational concepts of the gospel? It’s a serious question. I think Andy Stanley is wrong about some things, and I assume that I’m also wrong about some things. I’d rather not be wrong, and I’d rather Stanley not be wrong… but that’s not the same as being a false teacher. If you have specific information about things he’s said or written – things that can be verified – that contradict the gospel or primary issues in Scripture, please feel free to contact me. I will then check them out and publish them if they meet the criteria.

      In the meantime, let’s both pray for Andy Stanley… that he will be faithful to God, correct his errors, submit to the Holy Spirit, and teach from Scripture responsibly. Thanks!

  84. Kim says:

    Hi,

    Kim again, I’ve been following Gary Hamrick of Cornerstone church. I’m really enjoying the bible studies but wanted to double check if there is anything untoward about his perspectives and theology that I might not know about.

    • Tony says:

      Kim:

      Welcome back, and thanks for asking! Cornerstone is affiliated with Calvary Chapel. CC churches are generally well-known for solid and mature biblical teaching, and I see no red flags when looking at their website. As always, we should be like the Bereans. We should test everything we hear – even from our favorite leaders – by comparing what we’re taught with Scripture. I would have no problem tentatively recommending Gary Hamrick. Let me know if you have any questions.

      Have a great day!

  85. Devin says:

    Hey there, I am curious if you have seen that Todd White repented about his preaching a partial gospel, and if you have any thoughts about that. I really appreciate this site, it was very helpful. God bless!
    https://www.christiantoday.com/article/todd.white.repents.not.preaching.whole.gospel/135291.htm

    • Tony says:

      Devin:

      Thanks for sharing. I had heard about it, and watched some of his message. I remain in a wait-and-see mode, though. It seems unlikely that a Word of Faith teacher can suddenly change their theological base, so some time will tell whether White will become a reliable teacher of Scripture. Benny Hinn has given almost the same message no less than three different times, yet remains one of the worst offenders. I hope that Todd White’s story is one of total redemption, and that he will use his considerable influence to correct the errors he has so dangerously promoted. That would be admirable.

  86. Patricia Tompkins says:

    God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel: How Truth Overwhelms a Life Built on Lies by Costi Hinn

    In 2017, pastor Costi Hinn, a nephew of Benny Hinn, came forward with a testimony of his time spent in Benny Hinn’s ministry, and what made him leave.

    Costi Hinn worked for his uncle, Benny Hinn, for years. This book is an interesting read.

    What I don’t understand is how people can be so mislead, when the Bible clearly states about false teachers and preachers for money. The only think I can think of is that they are not reading and studying the word as they should, amongst a few other things. I just wanted to post this about Costi Hinn, he exposed his uncle and rightfully so. God opened his eyes, just as he did Paul’s

  87. Patricia Tompkins says:

    I would like to introduce you to my Pastor, Raymond Michael Barnett

  88. Bob says:

    God says to worship him in Spirit and Truth. Jesus Christ himself said that he would be in the grave three days and three nights like Jonah was in the fish. There is no way you can get three days and three nights from “Good” Friday afternoon until “Easter” Sunday Morning. Anyone teaching the Easter LIE is a false teacher.

    • Tony says:

      Bob:

      Thanks for writing. You are, unfortunately, using “new math.” The ancient Israelites used “old math,” in a manner of speaking. You and I typically think of a day as strictly 24 hours, from midnight to midnight. That’s not how the Jews counted in the first century, so it’s easy to misunderstand what we read in Matthew 12. Here are the verses in question:

      He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

      Three days and three nights, right? You and I both believe that Jesus was telling the truth here, don’t we? I’m sure we do. I’m also confident that neither you nor I would suggest that Jesus being very precise here… three days and three nights, being very precise, would look like this:

      One day = one rotation of the earth
      One rotation of the earth = 86,400 seconds (give or take a few milliseconds)
      Three rotations = 259,200 seconds(ish)

      Nobody in their right mind would try to argue that Jesus was predicting He’d be in the heart of the earth for exactly 259,200 seconds, also taking into account the three sets of extra milliseconds. Right? We don’t think this kind of exacting precision was His point… but we shouldn’t pretend that three days and three nights could mean ANYTHING, should we? No, that would be silly.

      Now, let’s count the days as they counted them at that point in history… and how observant Jews still do it. A new day began at sundown, so their days were night/day. The day ended when the sun went down. Sundown to sundown. You’ve probably heard this, but maybe you’ve never counted these three days and nights. I’ll use our modern counting system for clarity here. Jesus was taken down from the cross and put in the tomb before sundown on Thursday, what most consider to have been Nisan 14, in the year 30.

      Day One: Friday
      Friday night begins at sundown on Thursday. Friday day ends at sundown on Friday.

      Day Two: Saturday
      Saturday night begins at sundown on Friday. Saturday day ends at sundown on Saturday.

      Day Three: Sunday
      Sunday night begins at sundown on Saturday. Sunday day ends at sundown on Sunday.

      Three days and nights. When we know the facts, it’s easier to see that Jesus was right on track, and the early church was as well. The first recorded Easter celebration was recorded in the second century, a hundred years or more after Jesus’ resurrection. Of course, we do know that the early church celebrated Jesus’ resurrection from the very beginning… every Sunday.

      That leads me to ask you a question: what do you mean when you say “the Easter lie”?

  89. Jackie says:

    Your explanation is incorrect. #1 There is no rotation of the earth, the earth does not move. #2 It is written by God in the book of Genesis 1:5 And the evening and the morning was the 1st day. It doesn’t say and the evening to the evening is the 1st day.

    So often people speak their own version of scripture, adding incorrect explanations. God’s word is clear, and applies to all times, generations and timezones. Don’t take away or add to the word.

    • Tony says:

      Oh, Jackie. No. Your distrust is misplaced, my friend. Please: determine to undertake a serious study of the Bible so you won’t be limited by what others tell you. Don’t take my word for it… don’t just take anybody’s word for it. Do your homework and false teaching – and silly ideas like these – won’t be a problem anymore. Let me know how I can help.

  90. Jeane B. Lee says:

    Thanks, Tony. I appreciate your analysis. Whatever Jesus said was right – whatever!! Splendid explanation.

  91. Patricia Tompkins says:

    I thought you would like to hear him, that’s all.

  92. Hayden says:

    Thoughts on Matt chandler?

  93. Savannah says:

    Great list. Could you please look at James River Church in Springfield, Mo? They are an AG megachurch who recently hosted Bill Johnson and Randy Clark for a “Week of Power,” I strongly believe they should be on your list.

    • Tony says:

      Savannah:

      Thanks for asking. I would avoid James River, and John & Debbie Lindell, due to their association with the New Apostolic Reformation and folks like Bill Johnson.

  94. Elizabeth says:

    Dear Sir,

    Thank you very much for your very enlightening content. My question is with regards to healing, which I have been seeking for years, leading me to follow some of the preachers you have listed.

    It seems from the content that the method of receiving healing by faith (hearing and speaking the Word) as is taught by Word of Faith preachers is not biblical. In this case, may you please let me know how one goes about receiving healing in a Biblical/correct way?

    • Tony says:

      Elizabeth:

      I’m sorry to hear that you’re suffering, and would love to hear that God has healed you. You’ve asked a good question about healing, and shown wisdom in how you asked it.

      Word of Faith preachers generally claim that Jesus’ death on the cross ensures good health for all believers. The problem is that some believers do not enjoy good health… so they have to address why some are sick. Typically, they will say that the sick person doesn’t have enough faith. They teach that faith-filled words can change reality, so their answer is that you’re not speaking faith-filled words. Many of them will say that you’re already healed ‘in the spiritual,’ but that you must speak faith-filled words to manifest your health. This is unbiblical nonsense. If they were right, no faith-filled Word of Faith Christian would ever die.

      God CAN heal you. The Bible is clear on that, of course. The question is whether God WILL heal you. We don’t have that answer. The difficult part is that we see being-healed and not-being-healed in the New Testament. Here’s a passage from James 5:

      Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.

      That seems pretty straight-forward, doesn’t it? Do this, be healed. If I were in your shoes, this is EXACTLY what I would do. A good question to ask, then, is why the apostle Paul didn’t do this for himself, and why he didn’t tell Timothy to do it. Paul had a ‘thorn in the flesh.’ We don’t know what that is, but it seems safe to assume it was a physical problem. He prayed for God to take it from him, but God would not. If he only had to speak faith-filled words to manifest his spiritual health in the physical world, as Word of Faith teachers claim, he would have been healed… because it seems clear he didn’t lack faith. Also, he told Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach problems. Did Paul not know the secret that today’s Word of Faith teachers know?

      That doesn’t seem likely. It seems more reasonable to conclude that God may or may not heal any individual person.

      A thought, on a personal level: I belong to God. I’ve turned my whole life over to Him, and told Him that He could use me however He wished. That may seem very generous of me, but – of course – God could do whatever He wanted with me whether I said that or not. He’s God. Anyway, as we see in the New Testament, we may be asked to suffer for the benefit of others. Paul wrote that he was a prisoner for the benefit of the gentiles he worked with. When in prison, he pointed out that because of his example, others were encouraged to be bolder and more outspoken about Jesus than before. Why did Paul need to suffer? We simply don’t know. Was Paul ignorant about how to stop his own suffering? I’m not willing to make such an unbiblical claim.

      In the end, I hope that God heals you. I don’t want you to suffer unnecessarily. If God chooses not to heal you, I hope that you will learn from Paul’s example of being content in any circumstance, believing that God knows best.

      As I understand it, this is how we should understand healing. I’m praying for you. Let me know if there’s more I can do.

  95. Anon says:

    you need to add Sarah Jakes (TD Jakes daughter) and the whole Potters House, as well as Stephen darby (extremely popular internet pastor) and Missy Darby

  96. Don Marsolek says:

    Christ has returned, and you don’t know it.

    • Tony says:

      No, Christ has not returned. Not physically, not spiritually, not metaphorically, not secretly. Please: commit yourself to a serious study of Scripture. That way, you will know the truth. Don’t listen to me, or to whoever told you that Jesus has returned. Get the facts straight from God’s Word. Let me know if there’s some way I can help.

  97. Jeane says:

    Thank you, Tony, for your comments to Elizabeth. Yes, when we totally surrender our lives to the Lord, we find relief in whatever happens. Suffering is so hard, and you have given us all great clarity and/or confirmation.

  98. Tom Carpio says:

    Amen to that Tony. I thank you for your endeavors.

  99. Anders says:

    There is much confusion among Christians concerning healing, as well as several other Bible doctrines. I have been helped by studying dispensationalism. A pejorative term in Europe, I know. But when taught properly, it resolves much of the confusion. I recommend Don Samdahl’s homepage. I’m very glad to see that he and other “dispensationalists” are not included in the list of false teachers.

    • Tony says:

      Anders:

      I have no doubt there are some false teachers who are dispensationalists. They’re simply not very well-known. =)

      I have some problems with dispensationalism. There are good elements, and many parts are worthy of serious consideration. I also think dispensationalists add a bit to Scripture, create a framework for understanding God’s plan that’s largely foreign to Scripture, and hold a bit too strongly to their own interpretations. Of course, many who criticize dispensationalism are covenant theologians (federalists), and I’m not one of those either.

      For example, I don’t believe that God has provided different ways to be saved. It seems that salvation has always been predicated on believing God… as Abraham did, and as his spiritual heirs do:

      So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

      I see God’s redemptive plan as a single continuity throughout the whole of Scripture, while Darby broke it up into a bunch of different plans. Adam and Eve didn’t believe God, so we fell. In the end, it will be those who choose to not believe God who are excluded from His kingdom.

      What is it that draws you to dispensationalism, my friend?

  100. Anders says:

    It’s true that dispensationalists are not much read today. But the allegation that belief in the rapture, for example, did not appear until Darby in the 1830’s simply won’t hold. Church fathers like Irenaeus and Justin Martyr taught it. Even Augustine for a time. Many Puritan writings that have been gathering dust in libraries for generations are now available online. A search will prove that dispensationalism was taught long before Darby by men like Increase Mather and Archbishop James Ussher. Darby simply set forth the doctrine in a clearer way to a wider audience. To answer your question; what drew me to the study of dispensationalism? It was the question, “Why Paul?” There were already 12 apostles, so why did God raise up a 13th?

    • Tony says:

      Anders:

      I respect you, as you seem to be concerned about learning from Scripture well. As a result, I’m a little surprised to learn that you’re a dispensationalist. I mean no offense… I’m simply not on board with the idea that there’s more than one way to be saved, depending on the context. Salvation is a primary issue, so I think it matters a lot. In your experience, is this idea common among the dispensationalists you know?

  101. Liz says:

    Hi! This is all very interesting, I have never read such an expansive or thorough list. Thank you for creating this. I read your other article on what a false teacher is. I have many questions for you, but the one that stands out the most is why believing that God can help you in finances and healing is considered a false teaching?
    I am genuinely curious because even though I was raised Christian it wasn’t until about 6 months ago that I started diving into it by myself (it only took me my whole life haha)so I am learning how to navigate. And I have read Oral Roberts, Joel Osteen, others, and recently some on your approved list. And I guess to me, I definitely see a difference because Joel Osteen for example always talks about trusting God for provision whereas maybe someone like Timothy Keller may go more into depth about understanding the scripture. (Please correct me if I’m wrong there).
    But if Joel Osteen says that you also have to love God, have faith, and spend time with him – I am just having a hard time seeing how this teaching is false. I am just using him as an example. Because I do believe God wants to prosper us but is it the way they are living with their mansions and jets that is wrong? Is it because they are focusing too much on the money?
    I hope my question and comments make sense. Just trying to grasp this whole idea.Thank you very much for your time.

    • Tony says:

      Liz:

      Thanks for writing. I appreciate your kind words!

      There’s certainly nothing wrong with believing that God can help us with finances and healing. That’s not false teaching. Of course, that’s not what most false teachers claim.

      What do they claim? They claim that wealth and healing is guaranteed for every Christian because Jesus died on the cross to provide every one of us with both. They’ll say things like “your healing has already been accomplished in the spiritual… you just need to manifest it in the physical.” That’s not at all what we see in the Bible, and that’s why it’s been considered false teaching from the very beginning. God CAN heal, but He doesn’t always. God CAN provide wealth for anyone, but He doesn’t always make everyone financially prosperous. Do you see the difference?

      I’m happy to hear you’re diving back into following Jesus! The best advice I can give you (or anyone, including myself) is to read what Jesus said and read about what Jesus did FOR YOURSELF. It’s very, very good to listen to responsible Bible teachers… but we shouldn’t ONLY listen. In Acts 17 we read about Christians in Berea. They listened to what the apostle Paul taught them, and then they double-checked what he said with what God had already said in Scripture. That’s smart!

      The antidote to false teaching is – obviously – true teaching. It’s best to get Jesus’ words directly from those who heard Him teach. Don’t believe me, or Joel Osteen, or Tim Keller. Learn from responsible teachers, but double-check whatever you hear and whatever you believe with what God says in the Bible.

      The hard part about false teachers is that all of them also say many true things. There’s one particular false teacher who I think is brilliant… that most Christians (including myself) would benefit from listening to him. Unfortunately, he also says things that aren’t true. When people are led to believe the wrong things about God, their bad expectations often cause them to give up on a relationship with Him. That’s devastating, and that’s why Jesus’ disciple John wrote to not even associate with false teachers:

      Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.

      It would be too easy to simply complain that certain teachers have too much money or too many mansions. That’s not the point. The point is that we’re able to compare what they say with the Bible, and they’re more than simply incorrect… they compound their errors by making claims about God that contradict what God said about Himself. Word of Faith teachers – virtually all of them – believe that we are “little gods,” and can do the exact same things that God has done. This is what ‘the word of faith’ is all about, and it’s completely, totally, absolutely 100% wrong.

      How’s that? I’m so glad you wrote to me, Liz! If there’s anything more I can do to be helpful to you, all you have to do is ask. Have a great day!

  102. Anders says:

    I know you mean no offense, and I appreciate your concern. To identify as a dispensationalist today raises eyebrows. But nothing I have read suggests that there is more than one way to be saved. “Man has always been saved by the grace of God through faith. There could be no other way to be saved.” God has spoken in different ways at different times. Throughout the ages, those who believed Him were commended. (Hebrews 11:2) Those who did not were lost.

    • Tony says:

      Thanks, my friend. I had no real concern, but want to make sure I don’t step on toes. =)

      It may not be required for dispensationalists to believe there’s more than one way to be saved, but that seems to be an underlying idea with everyone I’ve interacted with. Different dispensations, different processes. I’m pretty sure you and I agree on the nature of salvation!

  103. Elizabeth says:

    Dear Tony,

    Thank you very much for replying to my inquiry regarding healing.It seems that we should leave healing to God.It’s His call whether He heals us or not and we should accept whatever his decision is.

    Having fallen victim to the false teaching of Word of Faith preachers on healing, I’ve now come to question just about everything I’ve been taught. My concern now is with tithing. I’ve always tithed (also given offerings) and I believe that due to tithing, God has been faithful and always provided for my needs. I’m not rich,but I hardly ever lack. At least I’ve seen God at work in this area of my life(finances).

    Now I’ve started wondering whether tithing is necessary and whether I should continue doing it.
    Is it legit or not for today? If I stop tithing will the devil wreck havoc on my finances because I no longer enjoy protection due to not tithing anymore? I’m thinking leaving the church where I got the false teaching on healing. In this case, if I don’t have a church ti go to, what should I do with my tithe(considering tithing is legit)? Please let me know as I’ve been struggling with this for the past few weeks and tithing time is coming up as I’m about to get my paycheck.

    My other question is this. Are Jonathan Shuttlesworth, Nancy Dufresne and Marcus Lamb legit or are they false teachers?

    I thank you for your reply and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    • Tony says:

      Elizabeth:

      I’m praying that God will do what’s best for you… and, at the same time, it’s perfectly okay to actually ASK for healing. We can tell God what we want, and then leave it up to Him whether to do it, trusting that He knows best.

      I grew up in a tithing church. I assumed, having no experience elsewhere, that I was supposed to tithe. When I started studying, however, it became clear that everyone I’d heard was handling Scripture very poorly. Most common was their misuse of Malachi 3:10, of course. When I looked into it, I was surprised – SHOCKED – to learn that over 70% of pastors agreed that tithing is not for Christians.

      Now: the popularity of an idea doesn’t make it true. Those 70% could be wrong, of course… but their reasoning matched what I found when reading the Scriptures in context. The tithe was part of the old covenant, and a way to provide for people who couldn’t own land in the Promised Land: widows, orphans, priests, and foreigners. The New Testament has a completely different standard:

      • Give generously
      • To those in need
      • As the Holy Spirit leads you
      • As you’ve decided in your heart to give.

      You see, the tithe was a debt that Israelites owed to God. Once their debts were satisfied, the rest was theirs. In the new covenant, we own nothing. Everything we have belongs to God, and we are only stewards of His money, His time, His resources… even our lives are not our own. I’ve written a few articles over the years about tithing, as it’s a common question:

      As for those teachers you mentioned: I would avoid them all. Reliable, trustworthy teachers focus on teaching Scripture. Unreliable teachers tend to focus on other things exclusively, like when someone really only talks about prophecy or end-times stuff. We should learn all we can about what’s in the Bible, but we shouldn’t focus on only one aspect of it. False teachers also focus on prosperity teaching, healing, and so on. Here’s what I find when I go to Jonathan Shuttlesworth’s website:

      BIBLICAL TEACHING ON FAITH, HEALING, FINANCIAL PROSPERITY, FREEDOM FROM SIN, AND LIVING A VICTORIOUS LIFE.

      Notice: it’s mostly about you and what you get from God. The New Testament paints a different picture of what it means to follow Jesus: deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him. Follow Him where? To your death. We give up our old lives and take up His life. He served. He sacrificed. He was humble and self-disciplined and patient and content with what God gave Him. His food and drink were, He said, to do God’s will. It’s usually pretty easy to spot an unreliable teacher… simply ask whether they sound like Jesus sounds in the gospels. Most unreliable teachers don’t.

      Nancy Dufresne’s website shows some of the VERY typical Word of Faith kind of ideas: receiving, and manifesting, and so on. She teaches (like too many) that divine healing has been provided for all mankind by Jesus’ death. Like most Pentecostals, she teaches that the evidence that you’re baptized by the Holy Spirit is that you’ll speak in tongues… directly contradicting Scripture. Prosperity is apparently the goal, rather than submission and service and sacrifice. God DOES want us to prosper, of course… but the promises they claim are not promises that God has made.

      Same with Marcus Lamb. I’ve never seen any of their programs that wasn’t filled with irresponsible teaching and outright errors. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Elizabeth. There are a LOT of unreliable teachers out there. Fortunately, there are far more reliable ones. I would spend time finding some you like, then spend time getting to know their teaching. Let me know how I can help!

  104. Anders says:

    We are agreed, indeed! However, many, like you, are suspicious of the word dispensation. The Greek word, oikonomia, is translated either as dispensation or stewardship in the NT. Stewardship simply means “the administration of a household or estate”. And the reason a righteous God dispenses His grace to unrighteous rebels has never changed since the world began. It just wasn’t known until the risen Christ revealed it to the Apostle Paul. And as he said to the Athenians; the time of this ignorance is now over.
    Actually, I noticed that you are something of a dispensationalist yourself!! You correctly point out to Elizabeth that tithing does not apply to us as it did in the days of Malachi. And not everyone is healed today, as they were in the infant Pentecostal Church in Jerusalem.
    The point of dispensationalism is that although all Scripture is for the believer’s learning and comfort, he may not assume that every command or promise is to him personally. He does well to consider the context carefully. The Lord sent the 70 out to heal the sick and cast out demons. On what grounds can I assume that I am supposed to do likewise?

    • Tony says:

      I’d offer a very minor rebuttal. =) God’s grace to those outside of Israel was the point of His covenant with them… to fulfill His promise to Abraham, to bless the whole world. They didn’t do their part, as the Old Testament outlines. They strayed so far from it that, by Jesus’ day, it seemed all but forgotten. Some seem to forget that the first person Jesus revealed Himself to was the Samaritan woman at the well… and He spent two days in Sychar explaining the Kingdom to them. Maybe it wasn’t well-known, but it should have been known.

      I do see changes in God’s approach, but not separate processes. More of an “It’s time for this” and “Time for that” than a change. I don’t mind the implication that I’m something of a dispensationalist, but it might be worth noting that covenant theologians would also see the difference between Old Testament tithes and New Testament offerings. We both know that covenant theology and dispensationalism aren’t closely related. =)

      Like you, I’m all about learning in context. I’m okay with dispensationalism, as long as none of it directly contradicts clear passages of Scripture. My own tradition(s) are held to the same standard, of course. I’m sure you and I feel exactly the same there, brother. It sure would be nice to sit and visit over an ice-cold beverage. Have a great day!

  105. Anders says:

    I appreciate your feedback. Keep up the good work! May you and I and all who visit this site continue to be “astonished”. (Acts 13:12)

  106. Anders says:

    Regarding the Samaritans; are you suggesting that they were Gentiles? It’s true that they were descendants of immigrants from various parts of Mesopotamia, but in Jesus’ day they considered Jacob to be their “father”, and were waiting for the Jewish Messiah to “come and tell US all things”. True, they were despised by “holier than thou” Judeans but actually they were Jewish proselyts in the same sense as Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. I think it would be fair to refer to the Samaritans as a Jewish sect.

    • Tony says:

      Anders:

      A good question! To answer, we must first determine what a Gentile is, and what a Jew is. I find more than 20 references that directly distinguish Jews from Gentiles, and there are dozens that are indirect. A Gentile, in biblical terms, is anyone who is not a Jew.

      A Jew is a descendant of Judah. That’s a bit fuzzy, as Paul is a Jew… from the tribe of Benjamin. The essential info is related to the divided kingdom. After Solomon died, the nation of Israel split into two kingdoms, with Israel in the north and Judah in the south. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained in the south, and continued (more or less) to worship Yahweh. The other ten tribes went north, and immediately began worshiping other gods. Jeroboam forbade anyone in the north from traveling to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices in the temple… and, to cement the separation, he made two golden calves. He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan. And this thing became a sin; the people came to worship the one at Bethel and went as far as Dan to worship the other. In this way, the descendants of Jacob were split into two groups. The southern tribes – Judah and Benjamin – became known simply as Judah, or Jews.

      It seems clear from Scripture that Samaritans were (are) not Jews. A few examples:

      • In John 4, the woman at the well said, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman.” She didn’t consider herself a Jew.
      • In the same passage, Jesus drew a distinction as well: You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
      • In Luke 17, Jesus healed ten lepers. Only one returned to thank Him… and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Jesus didn’t consider this Samaritan to be a Jew.

      At the same time, it’s clear that Samaritans were considered to be, in certain ways, distinct from other Gentiles. In Matthew 10, Jesus sent out the twelve with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.” While the Samaritans were NOT of the lost sheep of Israel, they were apparently not exactly the same as other Gentiles.

      What say you?

  107. JBL says:

    Scriptural analysis – thanks so much

  108. Anders says:

    I won’t go inte the reasons, but I find this question very interesting. So I appreciate your input. The verses you quote, especially the first two, clearly support your position that Jews and Samaritans are “different”.
    There are other passages that are worth considering. One I mentioned earlier: Samaritans were waiting for the Messiah to appear. No Gentile would make that claim. And according to 2 Kings 17:41, the Samaritans “feared the Lord”. Imperfectly, yes, but again, no Gentile would even go that far.
    Furthermore, the Book of Acts records that Philip met no opposition from the church in Jerusalem when he ministered in Samaria. Peter, on the other hand, got into big trouble when he ministered to Gentiles in Caesarea. I realize that Philip may have only ministered to Jews in Samaria, so this argument is not airtight.
    Finally, the Samaritans practiced circumcision and, though they did not accept the entire OT, they followed the Laws of Moses.
    So I would maintain that the Samaritans were a Jewish sect, similar to the Essenes and Zealots. They descended from those Gentiles who had become half-hearted proselytes 700 years earlier.

    • Tony says:

      Anders:

      As always, your response is thought-provoking. Obviously, Samaritans are a special case. I wouldn’t call them Jews, as the New Testament makes the distinction… but they’re not exactly Gentiles, either. You’ll get no argument from me!

  109. Chase says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for what you’re doing, Tony. I have read a LOT of what you’re written here on your site, both the articles and the contents, and I haven’t found anything of which iam opposed to in what you teach. Very solid, my friend.
    Again, thanks for what you’re doing. You have produced a very solid resource for the Church.

    • Tony says:

      Chase:

      Your words are very encouraging to me, and I appreciate them very much! Please let me know if you see areas that need improvement, or if there’s anything I can do for you. Have a great day!

  110. Pham says:

    Wow! You said alot about alot of people. I was trying to find information on you. I’m sorry I’m new to this website. Who are you? Are you saved? If so, how long? What church do you attend? Have you ever pastored a church or tried? Have you ever been in any form of church leadership? If not is it your desire?

    • Tony says:

      Pham:

      Thanks for writing! I’m just me. I’ve been a Christian since I was 6 (in 1973) and used to be a pastor. I’ve been on staff at a number of churches over the years, and GodWords is one of my primary ministries. If you want to get to know me personally, I’m on Facebook and Twitter and Substack. The links at the top of the page are my personal links… you can see me, pictures of me, my friends and family, and so on. I’m not hiding who I am. The reason you don’t see much about me here is that GodWords isn’t about me. It’s not a ‘vanity blog,’ where a notable person tells you about himself. I simply work to answer the questions people ask me… here, in my emails, on other websites, and in person.

      As for attending a church, I’m currently looking for where God wants me. We’ve recently moved, so we’re checking out lots of local churches. I wouldn’t call myself a Baptist or a Presbyterian or a Catholic or a Calvinist or whatever… I’m a Christian. I’m a follower of Jesus, and I can worship with anyone who also follows Jesus. In that sense, I could belong to any number of local churches.

      What about you?

  111. Bethany Duren says:

    Hi there. I am curious if “The Bride”ministries is a concern?
    Also, what is your thoughts on deliverance ministry? I have been seeking scripture on all of this. I have walked out of a church that I was in bondage in with a false teacher. It has been heartbreaking but the more I seek scripture I have learned how false teachers are everywhere. Thank you.

    • Tony says:

      Bethany:

      Thanks for asking. Like you, my heart breaks over the depth and breadth of false teaching in the world today. It’s one thing to see other religions like Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism flourish… but another to see so many who teach falsely in the name of Jesus Christ. In my opinion, they are far more dangerous.

      Along those lines, I would avoid any deliverance ministry.

      I hate even having to type that, really. So many need the hope that God can heal them… but I’ve never seen a deliverance ministry that adhered to biblical principles. I’ve read plenty of books and heard plenty of “sermons” about deliverance, and they’re all marked by one thing: they go far beyond Scripture to make claims about the supernatural that aren’t found in God’s Word. “The Bride,” for example, has a “deliverance portal.” That’s where you can be assessed with regard to your spiritual problems, learn which prayers to pray, and so on. The “portal” comes with a disclaimer: “The prayer resources contained here are extremely powerful and should only be engaged in a safe setting.” The idea is that they will teach you to say words that might cause you to crash your car, or be injured while using heavy machinery. Here’s more: “the church remains ignorant regarding the mechanics of the spirit realm.” They, of course, are not ignorant. They hold the key. Of course, they also charge by the hour for “spiritual delivery coaching.

      Responsible teachers and preachers of the Bible will all have the same message. That message will from the Bible… primarily from the New Testament. It will be the same message proclaimed by Jesus and His disciples. When someone claims to have spiritual knowledge that other believers lack – knowledge that isn’t available to all in God’s Word – that should, in my opinion, invalidate their message. I would never trust anyone who tells me I need spiritual help that isn’t found in Scripture. The early church, as we see in Acts 2, devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to fellowship, to prayer, and to sharing meals. They turned the world upside down. There’s no reason to believe that deliverance portals have ever been needed… then, or now.

      My advice to you is to run FROM ministries like “The Bride,” and run TO a local church that preaches and teaches directly from the Bible as their primary tool for spiritual change. We don’t need God’s Word AND some new, specialized knowledge about spiritual things. God’s Word is enough. Let me know how I can help.

      • Tony says:

        To follow up on “The Bride,” here’s some specific info. It’s a question in one of their assessments:

        “Do you feel that your star is free and that you are able to engage it with your spirit, or are you under the suspicion that your star has been defiled through witchcraft and is in a state of bondage?”

        After answering, they wanted my name and email in order to send me the results. As a web professional, this is a typical business-building scheme: get people involved in a multi-step process, promise them something they want, and harvest their personal info before giving them anything at all. Can you imagine the apostle Peter doing this at Pentecost? Would Jesus do this?

        It’s shameful… not to mention utter garbage, in spiritual terms.

  112. Anders says:

    The deliverance ministry didn’t go so well for the seven sons of Sceva. Sorcery was evidently big business in Paul’s day. Books on sorcery sold well amongst the Christians in Ephesus. It’s a profitable business today as well. (Acts 19)

  113. Lisa Langston says:

    If all the preachers listed are false teachers, which are most of the name so know, then where is the list of those who are not false teachers?

  114. James Stancil says:

    Check into Mike Bickel and International House Of Prayer-IHOP and Steve & Kathy Gray of World Revival Church in Kansas City.

    IHOP is NAR, ICOA, ICOP associated with Bethel church and Bill Johnson but have been here since the 1980’s. They have a scam involving rehabing houses with free help from students.

    World Revival Church had move to here from Smithton Mo

    • Tony says:

      James:

      Bickel and IHOP are already on the list. I’m not yet familiar with the Grays or World Revival Church, so thanks for the heads-up. Have a great day!

  115. Nadia says:

    I was alarmed to come across a teaching website that on their homepage claims to be both Orthodox Christian and also affiliated with a Pentecostal denomination, but that has enthusiastic affirming encouragement about and links to Tarot Cards and How To Load Guns, among other red flags. It’s BreadOnTheWaters.com, and states that “Bread On The Waters (BOW) is the Bible teaching ministry of Kraig J. Rice”.

    • Tony says:

      Nadia:

      Wow, that’s an old website! I’ve been making websites since 1999, and some of the design for this site looks to be that old. What also seems to have happened is that the website has been hacked. It looks like the links you’re talking about have been “injected” into the website by someone else, and have gone undetected. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kraig J. Rice has passed away, and that his website has been running unattended since 2005.

  116. Grace Fummey says:

    Can someone explain to me the Bible verse which Paul the apostle said women have no business standing in front of people to preach

  117. Carlos Parter says:

    I have no problem with anything you have written. Jesus warns us about false teachers, but before that, David writes in Psalm 1 that we should be mindful of those who do evil and do not allow them to influence us. More importantly, the scripture lets us know that we should delight ourselves in the Lord and meditate on His word day and night. Therefore, it is our laziness that ensnares us to false teachers. Read the scripture, study it carefully, and meditate on the word. Do not be so easy to accept the teaching of man without verifying it to be trustworthy through validation in scripture.

  118. Bob says:

    The blind leading the blind!

  119. Anointedsword says:

    I see and who approves this list? I am probably on it because I preach truth, but seriously–who approves this list? If you say, “God!” you are a liar. Word of faith? Now denominations (those who limit God to their own beliefs) you should be concerned about…

    Romans 10:8–9 (NKJV)8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

    Let me guess, you will not approve this comment, will you? Repent and follow scripture.

    • Tony says:

      Welcome back, Anointedsword!

      • You’ve yet to respond in our last conversation, by the way.
      • Who approves this list? I do, of course. Seriously. Who did you think approved it?
      • Your characterization of denominations is weak to the point of being nonsense. Maybe you don’t realize how many denominations there are, or how varied they are in their beliefs. Lumping them all in together is like saying that all pizzas taste like Domino’s.
      • Everybody limits God to their own beliefs. I do, you do, they do, everybody does. Your words literally have no specific meaning.
      • Yes, the phrase “word of faith” appears in Romans 10. Does that mean that no Word of Faith teachers are false teachers? That, of course, would be a ridiculous claim. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be that ridiculous. If you were, that would be ridiculous… that is, ‘worthy of ridicule.’

      If you think that Word of Faith teachers follow Scripture, bring receipts. I’m more than willing to compare their words with God’s words to see who’s right and who’s wrong. When the evidence is presented, it should be clear who needs to repent. I have my doubts about your willingness to do this, considering your preposterous attitude about what I do here. You presume that I’m wrong, present no evidence to the contrary, judge me as spiritually deficient, and pretend that the evidence I’ve presented can be explained away. If you’re actually as bold as you pretend to be, stick around and change my mind. I’m not going anywhere.

  120. Jeane says:

    Good for Tony

  121. Omer Shedd says:

    Reading through these comments and your replies is refreshing. I stumbled across your site as I was working on our growth group lesson from 1 Timothy (6:3-10) regarding false teachers. I appreciate your dedication to the truth, and for others to be truthful in how they speak, but most importantly how you are fair and loving in your replies. Our world teaches us to be adversarial, and your approach is the opposite and a reflection of Christian behavior that we should all embrace. Thank you for your inspiration and Merry Christmas.

  122. Melody says:

    I have a friend that has recently started to follow Dr Paul Feltor.. He teached that there are 2 gospels and that the gentiles dont need to follow anything in th eold testament. It appears they believe no works are neened and so in a sense a person can live as they wish and they will not be at risk as long as they believe. However this man also contridicts much of th bible. he lifts up Paul as the only real apostal and says no baptism is needed and my friend seems to think even prayer is a works. And if you think you need to be baptised your in works. and then you will be judged more severly according to what im hearing this man say. Have you checked into this new Cult?

    • Tony says:

      Melody:

      I wasn’t familiar with Paul Feltor. Thanks for pointing him out… I’m sure someone is searching the web for info about him, and they’ll probably find this comment.

      I’ve done a little digging, but it’s largely unnecessary. Anyone who claims there are two gospels is foolish. The entire Bible is one message, and one gospel. Nobody was ever saved by obeying the Old Testament law of Moses. The apostle Paul wrote this to the Christians in Galatia, who had fallen for a false gospel:

      Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish?

      Jude, probably Jesus’ brother, wrote this:

      I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.

      The faith, entrusted to God’s holy people, once for all. Not once for the Israelites and once for the Gentiles. THE faith. One faith. We find more in Ephesians 4:

      There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

      Further, Paul outlined the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:

      For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…

      Notice “according to the Scriptures.” Those Scriptures, obviously, are the books of the Old Testament. It’s one gospel, from beginning to end. Everybody has always been saved in the same way: by believing God, as Abraham did.

      Thanks again, Melody! Is there anything I can do for you?

  123. Teal says:

    So I havent read all the comments so please forgive me if this has been addressed. Since Furtick was mentions so should Elevation Worship, correct? And I understand there are a lot out there. And with that I have a question about someone not mentioned. Janet Thompson with Woman to Woman ministries. Is she in any way an actual false teacher or associated with WoF or PG? Thank you and God bless! ✌️💚💙🙏🏻

    • Tony says:

      Teal:

      Thanks for writing! I’ve added Elevation to the list, along with Hillsong and Bethel. While there are songs and artists involved with each that are not necessarily problematic, I’d consider any involvement with those groups problematic. It’s frustrating that such good music is spoiled by the influence of false teachers, and that so few church leaders seem even a little concerned about it.

      As for Janet Thompson, I’ve found no reason to think she’s a false teacher. We all should, of course, be like the Bereans and double-check what we hear against the Scriptures:

      Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

  124. Teal says:

    Also I forgot to mention Lysa Terkeurst is a false teacher and she operates with Furticks church as a Pastor! She needs to be listed bc so many women fo her book studies! Shalom and thanks!

    • Tony says:

      Teal:

      Again, thanks for the info. While I haven’t seen any evidence that Lysa Terkeurst is, herself, a false teacher, I would certainly avoid her teaching. If someone claims to represent Jesus as He’s revealed in the Bible, it’s safe to assume they should avoid false teachers like Steven Furtick. That she attends his church should be a gigantic red flag for any woman seeking wisdom from God.

  125. Anders says:

    I’m not familiar with Paul Felter, but I have followed Don Samdahl and The Berean Bible Society for some years, and they also teach what is called “rightly divided Bible truth”. I believe they have a point. The gospel preached by the disciples before Christ’s crucifixion was not the same as the gospel preached by Paul. How could it be? That is not to say that there is more than one saving gospel today. Paul is clear about that, as you point out.

    • Tony says:

      Anders:

      Good to hear from you! I’m sure you’ll agree that anybody and everybody can say that they teach “rightly divided Bible truth.” I’ve seen and heard it from teachers of every stripe, so it isn’t usually anything more than a slogan. The question is answered one doctrine at a time… so, like ignoring the beer commercials that suggest they’ll make us popular, funny, and good-looking, we should ignore the claims and look for the details.

      There’s no question that our understanding of the gospel has changed over time. The author of Hebrews points this out. After listing some of those who lived by faith in God from the Old Testament, he wrote this:

      These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

      God’s revelation of Himself has always been progressive in nature. Those who try to claim that Paul preached a different gospel, rather than a more complete gospel, twist the Scriptures and teach error. I can’t count the number of people who have tried to convince me that Paul invented Christianity… but they fail to take into account the fact that Peter and the other apostles and elders heard what Paul had been teaching, and did not correct him. Peter called Paul’s letters “Scripture,” and that should be enough for everybody. Sadly, some are more convinced by their tradition than by the Word of God.

  126. Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D. says:

    Brethren, just for the record: I am not, nor have I ever been, part of the Word of Faith Movement or of the “New Apostolic Reformation.” Thank you. ~Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.

    • Tony says:

      Dear Pastor Feeney:

      First, thank you for clarifying. I have removed you from the Word of Faith list. Also, with true respect, having read some of your writing, removing you from that list should not indicate to my readers that you are a reliable teacher of Scripture. Obviously you and I would disagree on this, but those who ask me for help deserve my best efforts. While I can consider you my brother in Christ, I cannot consider you a reliable Bible teacher. I wish it weren’t so, but your own words leave me no option. I hope you understand.

      While you’re at it, if you would, please clarify this quote: “When you speak the Word of God, you are tapping into limitless power!” This may not be, strictly speaking, “a word of faith,” but it may mislead. If you could explain what you mean, that would be helpful.

      God bless you.
      Tony

  127. Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D. says:

    Thank you, Tony, for your kind and brotherly reply. To answer your question about my written comment: “When you speak the Word of God, you are tapping into limitless power!” — That comes from the sermon you quoted from in the following context (a direct quote from the article):

    [QUOTE] “•• There is irresistible supernatural power in God’s word; it will not return to Him empty.
     
    •• God’s Word will accomplish His desires and divine purposes. The King James Version descriptively says that the word of the Lord will not return void to Him (Isaiah 55:11). In other words, it will get the job done!
     
    •• The Word of God is powerful, because it is guaranteed by God to be effective.
     
    •• When you speak the Word of God, you are tapping into limitless power!” [END QUOTE]

    My emphasis is entirely on the irresistible power of GOD’S Word, not mine or any other human. The limitless power resides in God and the “every word that proceedeth” from His mouth, not my mouth. In other words, the Word of God. You or I, the speakers/preachers/teachers/witnessers of that Word are merely the messengers of that (God’s Word) which in itself has almighty power to accomplish its purposes.

    I am distinctly NOT in the “confess-and-possess” camp. Far from it. I believe in God’s clarifying biblical declaration on that subject which says, “Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?” (Lamentations 3:37, KJV) I do believe that when we *properly discern the Word,* and if our use of it is in alignment with *God’s Word-revealed will* pertaining to the situation we are speaking of, then we have properly “tapped into” the limitless power of God’s Word that I referred to. The power is not inherent in me the speaker, but in God the Author of the Word. Such a word, spoken by man, provides a situation for the omnipotent Holy Spirit to bring that word’s full power to bear in the hearer’s life. Thanks for hearing my reply.

    • Tony says:

      Mister Pastor Doctor Feeney:

      I very much appreciate your response. On this we agree: God’s Word does spiritual work in the hearts of those who hear it, and followers of Jesus should use Scripture more often because God has revealed this truth. We sometimes fail, to the detriment of others. Thank you for clarifying!

      I’m happy to hear that you aren’t in the confess-and-possess camp. In my estimation, that’s an insidious stain on God’s reputation. I don’t run a discernment ministry, and I have no agenda beyond the responsibilities of a teacher. Simply by virtue of being online for a long time, I get a lot of email from those looking for help. Many ask about this teacher or that teacher, or how to find a church where they can grow, or which Bible to use, and so on. My only goal is to help them along the journey to trusting God a little more (or a lot more) as they go. To that end, as I’m sure you would agree, solid and responsible biblical teaching is a must.

      My own obvious limitation is that I don’t know everything. I can only use the knowledge and wisdom given to me, and I recognize that that may not be much. I certainly don’t mean to offend anyone, including you… and I hope I haven’t. Our apparent doctrinal disagreements are, in my mind, largely secondary in nature. Having grown and served in a Pentecostal-adjacent denomination, and having attended a few Pentecostal churches as a layman, I’m familiar with the movement. There is much to commend, but I struggle to recommend Pentecostal churches as a group because of the spiritual dangers that are readily apparent among so many. They tend to be theologically light, experience-focused, and – unfortunately, in too many cases – a magnet for scandal. Each individual church may be amazing, but I deal with strangers on the internet from around the world, so recommending such churches is a bit like gambling on my readers’ spiritual growth. I wish that weren’t so.

      I wish you well as you serve our Lord, and hope that our brief interaction hasn’t left a bad taste in your mouth. I do consider you my brother, and hope that God blesses you as you continue to serve.

  128. Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D. says:

    Thank you, Tony. It’s good for brethren from different perspectives on Scripture to dialog in gracious ways, as you do. May you continue to walk in the Lord’s blessings. ~Jim Feeney

  129. Good evening sir,

    I’m curious to the extent your research goes. Have you come across speakers like Michael (Mike) Todd, Tim Ross, Matthew Stevenson, etc.? There’s a slew of young, black leaders who typically go under the radar for reasons I can only assume are cultural. They fly under the wings of men like T.D. Jakes and Robert Morris so I understand if you are lumping them into the movement; but because you mentioned Steven Furtick separately, I would expect those men to be mentioned separately as well.

    I don’t mind compiling a document of videos and quotes, just want to know if they are already on your radar before I do so.

    Thanks!

    • Tony says:

      Will:

      It’s nice to meet you! I’m a little familiar with Mike Todd, but not with Tim Ross or Matthew Stevenson. You may be right about different cultures being unaware of different people. That seems natural and unfortunate.

      They’re not really on my radar. The ones I’ve mentioned are, to some extent, low-hanging fruit that’s been around for a while. The Kenneth Copelands and the Joel Osteens are pretty obvious. The few that I’ve written about specifically are the result of being asked by my readers to check them out. For example, I don’t have a Kenneth Copeland page, probably because most don’t wonder whether he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

      This younger generation has a lot of false teachers, but I mostly only write about folks when asked. It’s a lot of work, as I’m sure you’re aware. I don’t even want to do it, but I do want to serve those who ask. If you’re into compiling the data, I’d love to be able to share it here. Let me know!

  130. Karen says:

    I see you have Jimmy Swaggart on the list of false teachers. I tried looking him up but don’t know if I can trust what I have found. Can you provide reliable information for me?

    • Tony says:

      Karen:

      Thanks for asking. Honestly, I’m a little surprised at the question. Swaggart is still fairly well-known, but his problems have been so public that it never occurred to me to mention them. Here are a few:

      His study Bible – an altered version of the King James – contains his own notes on each passage of Scripture. These notes are in the middle of the text, rather than on the side of bottom of the page. You can’t read the text of the Bible without also reading his commentary… and his words, in this Bible, are printed in red. While it’s not a sin to put notes in the text or print them in red, this is either completely tone-deaf or incredibly arrogant.
      He was caught with prostitutes in 1988, 1991, and 1995. The first time he made a tearful, public apology. The second time he told his congregation, “God told me it is flat none of your business.” One would assume that being caught three times means there were other times where he was not caught… otherwise he’s the unluckiest three-time philanderer around. The Assemblies of God withdrew his ministerial credentials over these incidents.
      He teaches that God has a body and that it is located in one place at a time, denying God’s omnipresence.
      He teaches that Heaven is a planet.
      He teaches that Heaven is located in the north.
      He teaches that the apostle Paul didn’t understand the implications of the cross when he wrote Romans.
      He teaches that believers who don’t speak in tongues are of little use to the Kingdom of God.
      He denies the trinity, teaching that within the Godhead are three distinct and separate persons – each with their own body, soul, and spirit.
      Speaking of his supposed revelation about the cross, Swaggart wrote, “That which the Lord gave to me, which I believe sheds more light on that which was originally given to Paul, pertains to the manner in which the Holy Spirit works within our hearts and lives.” (The Evangelist, From Me To You, December 2004)

      I could go on. At some point, I guess, I’ll need to create a page for Swaggart. He still has an audience, though he shouldn’t. I’m glad you asked, Karen. Let me know if you have any questions.

  131. David Marko says:

    By your standards, you need to include Jesus Christ on this list. You wouldn’t know him if he was writing to you today, much less given the revelation of him through his word.

    • Tony says:

      David:

      You wanna talk about it, or just complain? I’m certainly open to correction, if you have anything constructive to say. Feel free to email me if you’d like to chat privately.

  132. D longhenry says:

    What about Dr John Barnett

    • Tony says:

      D:

      What about him? Are you asking whether he’s a false teacher, or suggesting I put him on the list, or something else?

  133. Breanna says:

    My in-laws have been attending The Homestead Mobile for a year now with teacher Damon Thompson and everything they have told me I’m just baffled that they still attend, from a pastor that swears, which they think is hilarious and speaking in tongues, prophecies, believing they are in charge of the weather and that’s why there’s been no hurricanes in Mobile since they began the ministry there. Please if you could give me any insight on him and his ministries, thank you.

    • Tony says:

      Breanna:

      Thanks for writing! I hadn’t heard of them. They don’t share a lot of stuff online, so it’s hard to say anything meaningful about them. I can say that the sermon I listened to was pretty bad… I assume it was Thompson, and he sat there for a long time and said “I believe” about different passages of Scripture dozens and dozens of times. Rather than explaining carefully what the Bible says, he gave advice about life for an hour. While being wrong about stuff doesn’t necessarily make anyone a false teacher, and being bad at preaching doesn’t either, I didn’t hear anything that was obviously off-base. There were hints that he has created a ministry that’s a little bit of several different movements… maybe some Word of Faith, maybe some Hebrew Roots. It’s hard to say. As for controlling the weather, that sounds bad. I have to wonder whether he was misunderstood, or whether he’s just that far out there. I certainly can’t recommend him, but I can’t judge him fairly either.

      Are you aware of anything specific he’s taught that clearly contradicts Scripture?

  134. Personal says:

    The NIV KJV Bible has contradictions, it refers all equal in Christ in one new testament epistle and in another exalts men,and jews . The Bible is cruel towards other sentient beings, even though there is proof of many being more right and wiser than many humans, and infact the Bible even refers birds as being more brilliant than humans in jeremiah. You can know the contradictions as a non xtian also doing a read.
    Preachers and self appointed uneducated evangelists use Bible as flawless word of god, even though it’s self evident that it’s flawed, to condemn and abuse others.

    • Tony says:

      Personal:

      First, thanks for writing. I appreciate hearing from you. A few thoughts:

      • I don’t know what the “NIV KJB Bible” is. It’s either one or the other. Is this a typo?
      • There’s a principle in the New Testament that keeps me from agreeing with you. We’re told that ‘spiritual things are spiritually discerned.’ That is, that reading or listening is not necessarily comprehending. Without God Himself helping us to actually possess the truth, we’re unable to. If this is true, then non-Christian can’t reliably explain spiritual things… and that would especially apply to what the Bible says.
      • I’d like to hear a reasonable argument behind your claim that “it’s self evident that [the Bible] is flawed.” The fact that some misuse it isn’t evidence of anything but their character, or lack of it.
      • I’d also be willing to listen while you explain sentience. If birds are more intellectually brilliant than humans (something that Jeremiah doesn’t actually say), we should rearrange the way we live to learn from the birds. Right? If their supposed brilliance is a metaphor, we should pay close attention to the metaphor.

      If you’d like to chat about these things, I’m listening. Have a great day!

  135. Personal says:

    1timothy 2:13, 13 contradicts Galatians 3:28 in Bible and causes men of the cults religion to abuse the equals, women; it increases abuse amongst those already with abusive minds and habits.

    There is self evident proof that women are equal and some even better than men in Spiritual and emotional intelligence.

    There is proof that there are no special god’s people and galatians 3:28 refers so and yet frauds impose god’s people theology and cause harm.

    • Tony says:

      Personal:

      I’m afraid you’ve misunderstood what Jesus taught. You seem to believe that following His teachings will cause inequality, prejudice, and abuse. In fact, following Jesus will produce the opposite. 1 Timothy 2 addresses a specific problem in a specific situation. Timothy led a church in Ephesus. This was home to a temple for Artemis (Diana, Astarte, Ishtar). In worship of Artemis, women were the leaders. They were accustomed to being the teachers, leaders, and judges for how to worship Artemis properly. When these women decided to follow Jesus, they started worshiping with the Christians in Timothy’s church. Being recent converts, they were – of course – immature and unlearned about Christianity. Paul, the author of 1 Timothy and his mentor, gave instructions on how to restore order during worship in the Ephesian church. As with any initiate, humility is essential. For the immature, listening is more important than teaching. When we study the Greek words used in this passage, we see that these ladies were essentially steamrolling those around them… and that, in their ignorance, causing problems.

      That is what Paul addresses in 1 Timothy. It’s not abuse. It’s not inequality. It’s wise instruction for how to lead strong but immature people, how to maintain order in an educational setting, and how to keep the unlearned from causing theological problems among other unlearned converts.

      You see, there’s more to understanding what the Bible says than a simple reading of the words. We need the context to see the meaning. The information about Artemis, about Paul’s relationship with Timothy, and about how Jesus viewed women are all there for us to see… but they’re not all in one place. A modern writer might say “these women – equal to men, but not yet mature in the faith – are accustomed to being spiritual authorities… but as initiates, they should be counseled to watch and learn.”

      Paul’s words there are not a denouncement of women, or an expression of inequality between men and women. They express the obvious difference between new converts and those with greater understanding. Does that make sense? Let me know.

  136. Cindy says:

    Thank you for your due diligence. I have been reading and reading and researching myself as I was following mostly false teachers. It bothers me greatly. A new popular teacher I have found is Jerry Flowers. He is not on any lists unless I missed it. Would you recommend him as he has a sermon on false teachers as well and seems to be calling them out. Thank you again for your research.

  137. jeane Lee says:

    I learn a lot when you put together Scriptures and explain. Thanks.

  138. Kristian says:

    Greetings from Kansas.

    I marvel at the people whose ears are hungry for false teaching. I was one. I understand ignorance of the Word and difficulty in discerning the subtle twists of scripture (I came out of the Word of Faith crowd, thank you Lord) but I have a few questions please…

    1. What happens in the end to those who blindly listen to and believe false teachers, yet still believe Jesus died for their sin?
    2. Are they considered believers?
    3. Do the false teachers know they are false teachers? Or are they blind themselves?

    Thank you

    • Tony says:

      Kristian:

      Thanks for visiting GodWords! How did you find me? I’m always curious.

      You’ve asked some very important questions!

      1. If someone is born again, they’re born again. They may not fully understand everything God has to teach them, but they’re saved. Being wrong about other things doesn’t undo this.
      2. Every person who has been born again is part of the Body of Christ. That comes when we surrender ourselves to God and turn our back on our old life, where we did whatever we wanted.
      3. Some false teachers obviously know they’re lying. Some teach false things because they sincerely believe false things… but they’re sincerely wrong. This is why James warns people about being teachers: we will be judged more strictly than others. Why? Because it’s the teacher’s job to teach the truth. If they know the truth but don’t teach it, they’re false. If they don’t know the truth and teach anyway, they will teach the wrong things… and will held accountable by God for what they do.

      After all that, someone might wonder why anybody should care about what’s being taught. After all, if you’re born again but wrong about stuff, you’re still born again… right? Well, there’s obviously more to it than that, or the New Testament wouldn’t be full of warnings about false teachers… right? So: what’s the problem with false teaching, if people are allowed to be wrong?

      • God doesn’t want anyone to be lost, and wants all to come to repentance. False teaching makes it harder for people to understand the gospel, so false teaching gets in the way of what God is trying to accomplish.
      • Salvation isn’t our only concern. Salvation is just the beginning. We’re to grow in faith, learning to obey everything Jesus commanded, and to become mature. If we’re saved, but then listen only to false teachers, we will not grow as we should. This growth is part of God’s plan for each of us, and that includes being able to pass on our faith to others.
      • If we’re able to turn our backs on God and walk away from the faith, then false teaching presents a VERY serious danger to those who are already saved. We see warnings about this in Hebrews, where those who were considering leaving faith in Jesus and going back to Judaism were told they would be severed from Christ if they did. They were told they would never enter into God’s rest, as the first generation of Israelites who left Egypt were kept out. A most serious warning indeed.

      Regardless of who much we can be wrong about and still be saved, the goal isn’t to just barely make it… right? We should strive for all we can get when it comes to following Jesus. The goal is to become like Him, so we should study the Scriptures to learn what that looks like, and then do it with our whole hearts.

      What I’d love to hear from you, my friend, is how your life has changed since you left the Word of Faith movement. Would you like to share your thoughts?

  139. Angelina says:

    Hi Tony, i’d love to hear your thought’s about what’s happening in Israel presently. So many voices out there!

    • Tony says:

      Angelina:

      I appreciate you asking. I don’t write much about current events, as ‘there’s nothing new under the sun.’ I also don’t spend much time on geopolitical intrigue, so I’m afraid I lack the kind of political information that would help that political situation. I’ll share a few general thoughts, since you asked:

      • War is bad. It’s sometimes necessary, but it’s never good.
      • Loving your enemies is a really, really, really radical thing to do.
      • Every death is a tragedy, and we should mourn its need.
      • I believe that Jesus is okay with self-defense, and with the defense of others.
      • The one who starts the conflict is usually in the wrong. When given the opportunity for peace, rational people take it.

      As a Christian, and as a teacher, I try to focus on the big picture as described in the New Testament. This verse especially resonates with me: No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. I don’t take that to mean I should never be involved in politics, but that I should make sure I’m not entangled in the things that don’t fit my mission. My mission is the one Jesus gave His disciples: to make disciples of Jesus and teach them to obey everything He commanded. For me, that’s more than I have time for.

      I hope my answer hasn’t disappointed you, dear sister.

  140. Robert Van Staden says:

    The Bible says we must TRY the spirits … why don’t you?

    • Tony says:

      Robert:

      If by “try the spirits” you mean something like, “Try this Dr Pepper Zero… it tastes just like regular Dr Pepper,” then no. I don’t want to “try the spirits.” If you mean something else, why not just come right out and say what you mean?

      Here’s what “try the spirits” means in the New Testament. It comes from 1 John 4:

      • to test, examine, prove, scrutinise (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals
      • to recognise as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worthy

      Feel free to come back and let me know what you’re talking about. Thanks!

  141. Loren Sanders says:

    Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
    – 1John 4:1 (KJV)

    Depending on the translation used, one may read “try”, “test”, or to “prove” (the most common being “test”) the spirits, but the root remains the same. When you look up “try”, Strong’s Hebrew & Greek Dictionary will come back with what I have below:

    dokimazō
    dok-im-ad’-zo
    From G1384; to test (literally or figuratively); by implication to approve: – allow, discern, examine, X like, (ap-) prove, try.

    So, immediately, “try” means to literally “test” those spirits, and to discern if they should or should not be trusted by followers of Jesus Christ as being reliable teachers.

    This does not simply apply to some fella you saw on TBN, PBS, or in a tent somewhere one day, but to ALL supposed teachers who claim to be promoting the Gospel of God.

    Meaning that every single week, when you go to your church, and you sit and listen to your pastor preach, you (per the teaching of the Bible itself) ought to be listening for error. NONE of us is perfect in our theology, we all make mistakes along the way, and even the best Christian leaders can mess up.

    If they are truly men of God, they will not simply dismiss being questioned or even challenged, on something they have said, and will do what is necessary to show you why they weren’t incorrect, OR, will see their error and repent before the church and correct it.

    I am not for one second saying that there are not trustworthy teachers out there to listen and learn under – there are MANY – but we all make mistakes, AND as we see too often, there are those who once stood tall for Christ, but have over a period of time (sometimes several years) slid away from the Truth in one form or another (I.E., All the previously solid teachers, who in the last 20 years have vacillated or abandoned the Word on the issue of homosexuality after their son or daughter “came out”).

    Every single one of us has the duty to our God to watch, learn, and teach the truths of God consistently, day after day, even when they become harder for us to do due for some personal feelings of our own like I mentioned above.

    May the glorious and graceful God we serve, bless and keep us all, and daily draw us closer to Him and His ways.

  142. Angelina says:

    Hi Tony,
    Thanks for your message. I’m in agreement with all that you said. So i apologise for not being more clear in my question.
    Jesus gave us signs about the future. Many of the things He said seem to be happening right now, in this generation! I think what i should have asked you is -wether or not you believe we are very close to Jesus return, especially with all that is happening in Israel at the moment? I had another question too, but it has annoyingly slipped my mind!
    Thanjs so much, Angelina

    • Tony says:

      Angelina:

      Thanks for clarifying! The truth is that none of us know whether Jesus’ return is right around the corner. Some are convinced, and get upset when others aren’t. The problem with prophecy is that you never know it’s being fulfilled until it actually happens. For example: one of the signs is ‘wars, and rumors of wars.’ There has never been a time on planet earth since that was written when there weren’t wars and rumors of wars. That, by itself, tells us virtually nothing, right?

      Certainly the reformation of the nation of Israel is a strong indication… but who knows? They could be dispersed again, as they have been so many times in the past, only to reform again later. I doubt that, but it’s possible. I do think we’re getting close, but it could be another 200 years. God’s timing is not our own. Every time we think He couldn’t possibly wait any longer, life keeps going on. Jesus WILL return, of course… but I don’t know when. Nobody does. It could be tomorrow. I hope so.

  143. JBLee says:

    Joe Friday – “just the facts, ma’am!” Specificity is so important. Talking in riddles and trying to decipher what people mean can be exhausting. Maybe Robert will be more specific. I hope so.

  144. Rebecca says:

    Robert Breaker is another one I worry about.

    He has taught that if you receive the mark of the beast that you can cut off your hand and you will still be saved.

    Johnathan Cahn also. He says he only has the keys to understanding Revelation. He dabbles in Jewish mysticism and gets information from a source called the Zohar. The followers of Q (Qanon) love him. He says the bible predicted Donald Trump.

  145. Angelina says:

    Hi Tony,
    Love your answer, i feel so much more settled in my spirit now, thank you! I hope it’s soon too.

  146. Loren Sanders says:

    “Certainly the reformation of the nation of Israel is a strong indication… but who knows? They could be dispersed again, as they have been so many times in the past, only to reform again later. I doubt that, but it’s possible.”

    I’ve known more than a few prophetic types who became indignant at the mere suggestion that Israel’s return to nationhood in the Bible possibly didn’t happen in 1949 as so many hold to.

    There needs to always be room for the possibility that we don’t have something right, or not quite right, etc.

    The only thing regarding the “End Times” that I am 100% resolute about, is that our King IS coming back! The rest of it? If we’re not allowed to know the time/date of His return (and we aren’t), then how can we possibly believe that we are letter-perfect in all the rest that we have come to believe about it?

    Some things we simply cannot “know” (and should not know), until (if) He chooses to reveal them to us.

  147. Jae says:

    Hi Tony, I’m still fairly new with my walk in Christ, so my discernment isn’t the best. As I continue to read and the study the Bible, I’ve been also following a preacher named Johnny Chang. Is he teaching false teachings? I don’t want to be led astray. Thank you

  148. Teresa says:

    I have recently found this sight, and really appreciate it. I also truly appreciate your dedication to truth vs. hearsay/gossip.

    My question is about Jimmy Swaggart. On your list, under the section that names each person’s “False Teachings”, it says “Jimmy Swaggart… caught with prostitues” Why is that on there?? Not a false teaching. Also, this sin was committed in the 1980’s, I believe, and he has repented of this.

    The second part of my question is about Jimmy Swaggart supposedly not believing in the Trinity. It is stated directly on JSM.org, under their beliefs, that they believe in the Trinity. I’d appreciate a look into these. Thank you.

    God bless you in your ministry, and thank you for the work you do!
    -Teresa

    • Tony says:

      Teresa:

      You’ve asked a good question!

      No, being caught with prostitutes isn’t false teaching. You’re right. As for repenting, multiple sources report that this is what he told his congregation after being caught the second time, in 1991: “The Lord told me it’s flat none of your business.” That doesn’t sound anything like repentance, does it?

      However: being a sinner isn’t the same as being a false teacher, so – again – you’ve asked a good question. The JSM website does contain an orthodox explanation of the Trinity… but that isn’t necessarily what Swaggart teaches. It’s widely reported that Swaggart repudiated the orthodox doctrine of the trinity for many years, and I have no evidence he’s recanted his prior views. I’m looking for a it on video, but haven’t tracked it down yet. Unfortunately, the statements of faith on a ministry’s website aren’t necessarily reliable. TD Jakes, for example, has claimed again and again to believe in the Trinity… but has taught, again and again, unorthodox explanations regarding the three persons of God. Steven Furtick‘s website contains a very nice statement of faith, but what he teaches contradicts it.

      Based on your feedback, I’ve amended Swaggart’s entry on the List. I’ve added a note about pastors who have been disqualified from ministry, per the biblical command that they be beyond reproach. If a pastor teaches the truth but isn’t beyond reproach, pastoral ministry should be unavailable to them until they’ve established that a case can no longer be brought against them. When we consider Swaggart’s repeated moral failures, his failure to be held accountable for his actions, his supposed “new revelations” from God that even the apostle Paul didn’t know, and his current association with other known false teachers, I think we can probably agree that he should not be in a position of church leadership. Without hard evidence – direct video or audio quotes – I recognize that some might believe I should remove him from the list. I’m sympathetic to the view, but can’t in good conscience remove him.

      What do you think? I really appreciate your kind words, Teresa. Have a great day!

  149. Tony says:

    Jae:

    Thanks for writing! I’m not aware of any indication that Johnny Chang is a false teacher. As always, we should check whatever we hear – from anyone – against the Bible, and especially the New Testament. Please let me know if you have any more specific questions.

  150. TED says:

    Does anyone know anything about Bob Hamp? Pseudo physiological faith healer. Is he a false teacher? I know he was part of Gateway Church in Texas which does have false teachers and also he speaks a lot at a church in San Marcos TX called Sozo Church, which also is promoting false teaching. But this guy must really spend/pay a lot to scrub his online record. Please let me know as his book(s) are starting to infiltrate our church.

  151. Amy Rice says:

    Here’s a very good biblical YouTube channel that exposes the false teachings. Even if you have never heard of the teacher that they are exposing, you’ve certainly heard the false teaching associated with the false teacher. God bless you ❤️

    https://youtube.com/@cicministry?si=EeRe3v_-kxSh-8Pq

  152. TED says:

    I was hoping that someone else has heard of him and I would love to hear their view point. Maybe I’m wrong. Or maybe he’s left those churches; not to be associated with them in order not to be labeled a false teacher. Anyway, I will keep researching him.

    • Tony says:

      Ted:

      I didn’t mean to sound snarky, of course. I simply wanted to say that it seems like your discernment equipment is probably working just fine. For example: if he’s a “pseudo physiological faith healer,” then he’s a false teacher. You have a point about association, and it’s worth repeating. If he left someplace because OTHER people are false teachers, that would be a good thing.

  153. Loren Sanders says:

    You said, “If a pastor teaches the truth but isn’t beyond reproach, pastoral ministry should be unavailable to them until they’ve established that a case can no longer be brought against them.”

    I would disagree, there are sins a pastor can commit that disqualify permanently.

    Once a man has been saved, and answers a call to ministry, as you quoted, he is to be “above reproach”, and while he can be forgiven, there are sins that immediately and permanently disqualify him from being a pastor; but “the church” refuses to hold them to Scripture.

    Moses wasn’t allowed to enter the Promised Land because of his (forgiven) sins. David wasn’t allowed to build the temple; as a Warrior King, God said there was too much (forgiven) blood on his hands.

    God shows many times in scripture that there are times when appearances – IMAGE – does indeed matter to Him (and thereby us); and He says pastors will be held to a higher standard (James 3:1, etc.). Why? Because they, more than anyone else, are the “face” of God before the world.

    Forgiveness does NOT release us from the consequences of our sin. We should rejoice when a murderer is reborn of God, but that doesn’t mean he should be let out of prison, and the unrepentant murderer left in his cell. He ought to rejoice that he now has a captive audience to proclaim the gospel to.

    Can a Swaggart repent before God, and again serve in ministry? Yes, but NOT as a pastor, or any position that could relate to his sins (embezzler made treasurer). Can he proclaim the gospel, and evangelize the lost? Absolutely, but he has ZERO business “teaching” a flock how to have a Godly marriage, he has forever tainted an image God deems important. The damage he does to the “face” of God by his sinful act(s), is no less harmful than a Catholic priest that engages in sex with other men, or worse, sexually molests youngsters.

    We live in a world that has rejected all sense of shame, sin, or responsibility for anything – and the blunt ugly truth is, that “the church” has followed right along. We can point fingers at shepherds who’ve deserted their callings, but we are just as much to blame as they only speak what our itching ears want to hear.

    No responsibility, no consequences, live as we please. How many false teachers embody that attitude not only in what they misteach, but in the public examples of their own lives? The apostacy of the church began quite a few years ago.

    • Tony says:

      Loren:

      Thank you for your thoughtful, and in-depth, response. You make a good point, and I’m not going to disagree directly. There are many who believe as you do, that one can permanently disqualify themselves from being an elder or deacon. For the reasons you’ve listed, I’m in no position to disagree.

      I do have what seems to be a reasonable response… it’s a question: who is to make the judgment? The examples you give come from God’s judgment. Nobody’s going to argue that He was wrong in making those decisions. At the same time, we know that Peter denied Jesus three times. We know that he acted hypocritically with regard to his fear of the judgment of fellow Jews. We also see nothing in Scripture about him being disqualified, so we must assume that he wasn’t.

      We absolutely agree that elders and deacons should be held to the standards we see in places like 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. No question. The operative word in both texts seems to be “above reproach.” Is there a point at which a leader’s past sins – acknowledged, repented – no longer bring shame or dishonor to the name of Jesus? My beef with Swaggart is that he pretended to be repentant but wasn’t… and when caught again, told his congregation that it was none of their business. Had he actually repented, humbly stepped down, lived under the authority and accountability of others long enough for them to see that he really had changed, and then sought to serve in leadership again, I’m not sure I’d be able to condemn the decision.

      Thank you for taking the time to write, my friend!

  154. Loren H Sanders says:

    Hi Tony,

    For me, the problem with using Peter as an example in this case, is that it can be argued that Peter hadn’t yet been saved when He denied Jesus.

    It ties into the biblical rules for being a pastor. As they are laid out in scripture many insist that no one who was ever divorced can be a pastor, while others believe the number of marriages they’ve had is meaningless. I’ve no truck with wolves like Paula White and her ilk, I’ll stick to the former as being a worthy topic.

    Having not been a pastor, for many years I didn’t expend much thought on pastoral “must haves” beyond the obvious one that first and foremost he must be saved. However, numerous instances of divorce/marriage/etc. around me saw me decide I needed to determine just where the lines should be drawn.

    Lots of study, prayer, and conversations with pastors, and other folks. Here’s where I ended up (condensed at best):

    The thrust of the debate is that per scripture, any man who doesn’t measure up to the list of rules, can’t serve as a pastor, and that “of one wife” means “birth-to-death”, so no matter when he divorced, it disqualified him forever.

    But, taken THAT literally in the context of the entire passages involved – no one could ever be a pastor, because none of us has lived a sinless life. We accept that Pastors do sin, but if we’re to adhere to the idea that God called them as sinless to begin with, how could they now commit those sins, heck, how could they need saved?

    I could go on for quite a while in detailing, extrapolation, and so on about this, but I’m only seeking to get the gist of my point(s) across.

    Even without the ridiculous arrogance, Swaggart, truly repentant or not, disqualified himself from ever standing before a congregation and preaching God’s will for their marriages.

    Were Swaggart ever truly repentant, I would have no problem with him being in a position of leadership, but not as a Pastor. And while I understand (and to some degree, admire) your thoughts here, I would also say that I do not believe that we can place consequences for our actions in the same cup as being condemned, by either man or God.

    Keep it up brother! Your efforts here are much appreciated, and these days we need more folks willing to do so.

    God bless and keep you and yours.

    Loren

    • Tony says:

      Loren:

      Thanks for an interesting conversation! I’d suggest there are problems with putting saved/unsaved on anyone before Pentecost. Before Pentecost (or John 20) Jesus sent the disciples out to heal and cast out demons… something we would struggle to put into those categories. Can unsaved people heal and cast out demons? Before Pentecost, it seems the Holy Spirit wasn’t active in most believers as He has been since then. It may be wise to consider Jesus’ disciples as a transitional group. They were believers in the same way as lovers of God were before Jesus’ ministry, and they were believers after Pentecost in the same way you and I are… but the typical believer didn’t heal and cast out demons before Pentecost, and today’s believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at the moment of conversion. Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit on the disciples before Pentecost, so the distinctions are muddy.

      The biblical rules for being a pastor are pretty straight-forward, but are often interpreted differently. Some suggest that any sin will disqualify an elder or deacon. That seems an unrealistic standard. Some suggest that no specific sin can disqualify you permanently. The standard is “above reproach.” To interpret the rules properly, we must know what THAT means. It can’t mean “has never sinned since becoming a believer.” It can’t even mean “has never sinned since becoming an ender.” It certainly can’t mean “sins all the time without repentance,” either. It’s somewhere between the two.

      The word “reproach” means things like “not open to censure” and “cannot be laid hold of.” I would suggest that one way of describing this in an elder is that they have no “open issues.” That is, any sins they might have committed have been properly dealt with in a way that nobody – inside or outside the church – can claim that they are avoiding responsibility. Certainly anyone can bring up the past to condemn someone unjustly, so nobody would suggest that simply being criticized is a deal-breaker. Again: I’m all for changing the way many church handle leadership and holding everyone to a higher standard… but we’re talking about a specific group, with specific instructions. To deal with them as God has prescribed requires that we clearly understand what God means.

      To put it back on Swaggart (or any other elder): just having sinned isn’t enough to disqualify him. It’s a problem, but sinless perfection isn’t the standard. Sinning and hiding it, or pretending that it’s okay, or avoiding accountability entirely (as Swaggart did) definitely opens him to reproach… that is, people inside and outside the church can justifiably claim that the way Swaggart handled his sin is not how the New Testament tells us to handle our sin.

      With regard to divorce, that’s a grey area. I don’t mean that we should have trouble thinking clearly about it. I mean that simply being divorced isn’t enough information to judge any specific individual. Why? Because it may be that their unbelieving spouse decided to leave them. That wouldn’t disqualify anyone, of course. Here’s another consideration: divorce is not a sin. I know that’s not a common idea, but it’s 100% biblical. Why do I say that? Because God wouldn’t allow sin. God hates divorce, but He allows it because of the hardness of our hearts. He doesn’t allow murder, or adultery, or covetousness because our hearts are hard, does He? So: we can’t simply disqualify an elder or deacon on the basis that they’ve been divorced. The question has to include more than that before we can answer. There’s no question that some divorces are legit, and there’s no question that God would tell some (if not most) people to NOT divorce… in which case their divorce, for any reason at all, WOULD BE a sin.

      Good stuff, my friend… and thank you for your very kind words. Have a great day!

  155. Loren H Sanders says:

    I’m enjoying our conversation, but each reply we make seems to lead us further into it, rather than ending it, and I don’t want to (1) monopolize your time (2) annoy your other readers by incessance (3) I have too much to do myself. So… couple minor replies, and I’m outta here (for this time).

    “Before Pentecost (or John 20) Jesus sent the disciples out to heal and cast out demons… something we would struggle to put into those categories. Can unsaved people heal and cast out demons?”

    We can debate on folks being saved before or after Pentecost, but when we talk about Christ sending the apostles out to heal, and kick demons, and can unsaved folks perform these actions, we open the door to the argument that Judas was one of them, and was sent as surely as anyone else. So the next question (and one that has been battled through the ages by some) is then, was Judas (could he have been) saved?

    I think that the differentiation between saved and unsaved can be argued among the disciples themselves at that time, at the least. I for one, believe that were Christ to command me to do so, I could in fact take flight as if it were nothing – saved or unsaved – His word is Word is.

    That’s one of the things about opening cans of theological worms – often they are bottomless (else the worms continue breeding inside). LOL!! Which is why I most like these types of discussions with a couple pots of coffee on the table between us, because it can last so long…. (my wife and a sister-in-law would nod away vigorously at that comment regarding my brother and I getting together).

    Sadly, with the number of moves we’ve had to make in the last 15-ish years, and the number of folks who’ve gone home ahead of me…coffee talk like that is seldom seen these days.

    Thanks for the chat!

    Loren

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